Nick Kyrgios ‘slips and slides’ to his first win on clay in 1,055 days, delights fans with a tweener

Nick Kyrgios in action

Nick Kyrgios returned to winning ways on clay as he won his first match on the surface since 2019, coming from behind to beat Mackenzie McDonald at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

The Australian hasn’t played on the red dirt since Rome 2019 due to injury and the coronavirus pandemic and he did take a while to settle, but eventually won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes.

There were the usual Kyrgios antics as he argued with the umpire after being handed a time violation as his toilet break lasted more than the allocated three minutes with no clothes changes.

He also produced a customary tweener during the match.

McDonald broke in game five of the opening set before Kyrgios hit back in game four of the second set to take it to a decider. The Australian then broke in the first game of the third set and eased over the finish line.

“Clay is obviously not my preferred surface, but I just served really well and started playing more aggressive and just found another gear,” Kyrgios said.

“I did slip and slide a little bit, but my game actually suits the clay quite well. It’s a great atmosphere out here and the crowd’s pretty involved, so I’m looking forward to continuing to progress through the event.”

Up next is seventh seed Tommy Paul after the American advanced when German Peter Gojowczyk retired with the score 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5), 3-2.

Fifth seed Cristian Garin also had to come from behind as the Chilean defeated wildcard Jack Sock 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 while sixth seed Frances Tiafoe scored a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marcos Giron.

Eighth seed Jenson Brooksby was the biggest casualty on Tuesday as the American was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by compatriot JJ Wolf.