Back on the singles field Tuesday night, for the first time since last month’s Wimbledon final, Nick Kyrgios picked up where he left off with a dominant Citi Open win.
Kyrgios still donned his tennis white – at least his shirt and cap – and rolled past Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour. The Aussie was in a different league once he established himself in the evening session match, saving an early break point before dominating from 3-3 in the opening set.
“I came out a little slow, obviously very different circumstances to Wimbledon,” said Kyrgios, who later admitted it took a long time to get over his last four-set defeat to Novak Djokovic. “I think it was just a bit of nerves too. I won the tournament in 2019. When I saw my name in the stadium and then I knew I didn’t play well here at all last year – I lost the first round and I was just going through such a dark time in my life.
“I’m just so happy to be here with my team, the love and support from the crowd. I’m just really happy to be playing good tennis here again.”
Kyrgios finished with 12 aces and an 82 percent win (28/34) on the first serve, along with a pair of tweeners. He also revived the tradition that served him well in his 2019 Washington title run: asking a front row fan where to serve at match point.
Although Kyrgios missed the goal on the first serve, he apologized to the fan but fired an unreturned second delivery to round out the comfortable win.
The unseeded Aussie improved to 9-0 in the opening rounds this season and 22-7 over the year. He then takes on Tommy Paul in 14th place in the American’s opening match at the ATP 500 event. Another home favorite – fourth seed Reilly Opelka – could wait in the third round.
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Kyrgios has progressed to the semi-finals or better in four of his last five tournaments since April, but is aiming for his first singles title of 2022. He won two doubles titles with compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis, at the Australian Open and on Sunday in Atlanta, where a knee injury suffered a knee injury. forced him to withdraw from singles competition.
Kyrgios teams up with Jack Sock in Washington, and the pair earned 6-4, 6-4 from third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer Monday night.
“With guys like Jack and Thanasi, these guys are much more than friends to me,” added Kyrgios. “They know I would do anything for them. I’ve been there for them and they’ve been there for me. I can’t give those guys enough credit. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend… I can Don’t give guys enough credit because without them I really wouldn’t be here.”