Nick Kyrgios produces ‘a hell of a performance’ to set up match against ‘hell of a player’ Andrey Rublev
It was “a hell of a night” for Nick Kyrgios at the Miami Open as he saw off a “tough opponent” in Adrian Mannarino to earn a second-round date against Andrey Rublev.
Kyrgios came into the Florida Masters 1000 event on a high after reaching the quarter-final of the Indian Wells Open last week and he continued his good form with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in one hour and 32 minutes.
It was a tightly contested opening set with only one break point opportunity that Kyrgios failed to convert. The Australian, though, dominated the tie-breaker and a single break of serve in game eight of the second set ensured he walked away with the win.
The world No 102’s victory came on the back of a strong service game as he landed 75% of his first serves, winning 82% of those points.
“It was a hell of a performance,” he said. “Getting on late, it wasn’t easy. So I’m really proud of myself with the way I responded. I felt good, I competed well today against a tough opponent.”
Up next is fifth seed Andrey Rublev, who is one of the form players on the ATP Tour having won the Open 13 and Dubai Tennis Championships.
“I grew up with him, I’ve seen him play. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios, who has a 1-1 head-to-head record against the fifth seed, said. “Obviously we all know what he’s capable of and I’m going into that match as a complete underdog.
“But I feel confident. If I’m serving well and playing well form the back I can beat anyone, and everyone knows that. I’m excited.”
Thanasi Kokkonakis, with whom Kyrgios won the Australian Open men’s doubles this year, was also victorious as he defeated Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2 to set up a clash against 13th seed Diego Schwartzman while Borna Coric from Croatia earned a date against second seed Alexander Zverev with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Fernando Verdasco.
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