Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has taken his first ATP win while on home soil, beating American Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-2 at the Brisbane International.
22-year-old Kyrgios held off against five break points during the first set which included three in his third service game as Harrison made a good effort of tackling the aggressive delivery by Kyrgios.
Kyrgios held his ground and struck back at the first chance he got with a pair of forehand shots delivering a critical break before an ace settled the first set within 37 minutes.
Kyrgios enticed the crowd with two touches of the net, using baseline angles and some flat forehands to throw 25-year-old Harrison off his game.
Kyrgios turned up the heat in the second set and got more balls into play on Harrison’s serves as he anticipated an early victory.
His seventeenth ace completed the victory within just over an hour, Kyrgios looking mostly free in his movement despite wearing a heavy strap over his left knee.
With seventeen aces and a 71% first serve accuracy rating Kyrgios secured the tournament a day after defeating world No.3 Girgor Dimitrov, knocking him out of the semi-final.
Early in the match Kyrgios was denied permission for a medical time-out by the tour supervisor Gerry Armstrong. Kyrgios needed treatment for his left knee which had been taped during all four of his matches.
Kyrgios disagreed with the decision by Armstrong stating that “the rule should be changed” and that it was an injury that “could keep me out of the Australian Open”. This follows recent news that former world No.1 Andy Murray’s hip injury would prevent him from competing in the Australian Open this year.
Following the first set Kyrgios was seen debating with umpire Fergus Murphy complaining that Harrison should not have been given such a long break off the court.
Kyrgios was frustrated that Harrison could “just leave the court for almost 10 minutes”. Murphy responded by claiming that Harrison’s time away from the game remained “reasonable”.
Kyrgios played and behaved well during the tournament, not receiving any code violations from officials despite being visibly frustrated with decisions during the final match.
He said that he loved playing for Brisbane crowds, adding “even though sometimes it might not seem like I do.” Kyrgios said he was happy to be added to the list of Brisbane champions alongside Lleyton Hewitt, who is set to make his doubles comeback at this year’s Australian Open.
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