Nervous Nick Kyrgios ‘redeems himself’ as he puts up a good show for fans at Citi Open

Nick Kyrgios post-match celebration

Nick Kyrgios banished the bad memories of his early exit from last year’s Citi Open as he gave fans plenty of reason to cheer with a win over Marcos Giron in his 2022 opener.

The Australian, playing singles for the first time since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, was in imperious form as he defeated Giron 6-3, 6-2 in under an hour before a sellout crowd on Stadium Court.

It felt like redemption for 2019 champion Kyrgios after he failed to get a win under his belt at the 2021 edition.

The first seven games went according to serve with world No 53 Giron getting a sniff in game three, but Kyrgios saved the break point.

And it was the Kyrgios who got the only break of the set as he upped the ante in game eight before serving it out to love.

He kept the momentum as he broke in the opening game of the second set before saving two break points in game five. A second break to love in game seven all but secured the win.

“I actually came out pretty nervous,” the world No 63 said. “Obviously had won this tournament before, but I wanted to make sure I had a really good performance this year. I have been training really hard. I just feel like I’m in such a better place with my tennis. Mentally as well. I wanted to show that to the fans.”

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He added: “I lost first round last year, and I was just going through a lot. I just really wanted to make sure I came out and gave them a good show, just to redeem myself. Just looking around the crowd, such an amazing tournament.”

Kyrgios won 82 per cent of his first-service points, hit 26 winners and committed just eight unforced errors.

And just like his 2019 winning run, he also got the crowd involved as he asked a fan in the front row where he should place his serve on match point.

“I think it’s just a cool experience for someone that’s paid money to come watch you play and potentially to go home with that memory,” he said.

“If it’s a young kid or an older lady like today, I think that’s something that’s pretty cool.”

The Australian will take on 14th seed Tommy Paul for a place in the third round and if he comes through that match then he could face either fourth seed Reilly Opelka or Denis Kudla.

Top seed Andrey Rublev also booked his place in the third round with a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win over Great Britain’s Jack Draper while seventh seed Karen Khachanov had to work for his win as he secured a 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-4 victory over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer.