Comment: Nick Kyrgios finally allowing his tennis to do the talking
The Nick Kyrgios debate has been raging in tennis for many a year and now we are getting the answers we were waiting for.
So many have questioned whether this brash entertainer is good for the game, but when he plays with the authority he has displayed for much of 2022 that question is given an emphatic answer.
As the Aussie maverick turned on the style to hammer fifth seed Andrey Rublev in just 52 minutes at the Miami Open, Kyrgios confirmed his impressive form over the last few months can be sustained.
After his fine run at the Indian Wells Masters event earlier this month ended with a tight defeat against Rafael Nadal, this 6-3, 6-0 win against Rublev was another sign that this captivating performer is playing tennis worthy of a top ten performer.
Kyrgios won 56 per cent of his return points against one of the best players in the world and broke the Rublev serve five times, throwing in his familiar array of trick shots and unconventional moments in a win that wowed the crowd in Miami.
The emphatic scoreline against one of the game’s form players will raise plenty of eyebrows, with Kyrgios insisting he had all the answers for his opponents.
“He came out hot at the start and that’s tennis,” said Kyrgios. “A couple points could swing a momentum change like that and once I got that double break, I started seeing the return really well.
“I’ve been returning well the past four months and I guess when that’s happening, I’m serving the way I’m serving, I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, my shoulders open up and I just ran with it.
“I know that he’s a player who relies on a bit of rhythm, so I just tried to keep the points short and sharp, just play aggressive.
“I’m just happy with my performance, whether it’s 7-6 in the third or something like this, I’m just happy to get through.”
As he explained why he was stringing together one of his most consistent runs of form to start this year, Kyrgios added: “I am at peace with everything off the court.
“I am in the right mindset. It’s just one match. I was lucky to get through the first round and today I played great.
“I’ve had the biggest pre-season ever. I’ve trained hard and in the best shape I’ve been in for a while. I’m in a better space with my family. I could put it down to a few things.
“I’ve been on tour for nine years. I know some weeks will be incredible and some will be shocking. I’m not on that rollercoaster life anymore where I really enjoy those highs and almost drown my sorrows with the lows. That’s healthier for me.”
This latest win takes Kyrgios back into the world’s top 100 on the provisional rankings, but on this evidence, he is a player to avoid in the Miami draw, with Italy’s Fabio Fognini next on his agenda in the third round.
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