When the US Open draw was released, one of the matches that stood out was a clash between Nick Kyrgios and close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis. Kyrgios made sure the blockbuster matchup did not turn into an epic battle.
The 23rd seed defeated Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the second round at Flushing Meadows. He will play Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi for a place in the third round.
Kyrgios has shown the best form of his career in recent months, reaching the Wimbledon final, winning the Washington title and defeating World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in Montreal. He maintained that form inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday evening following Serena Williams’ match, triumphing after two hours and one minute.
The seven-time ATP Tour titlist raced through the first two sets in just more than an hour, using his serve to dominate play. There were few long rallies in the match, with both men looking to dictate the action with their forehand.
Kokkinakis did not earn a break point, but he made things interesting by holding from 0/40 in the third set and pushing the set to a tie-break. At 4/4, Kokkinakis just missed a forehand down the line wide, which proved a fatal mistake. Kyrgios won the next two points on his serve to clinch his victory just two minutes short of midnight.
Kyrgios’ next opponent, Bonzi, outlasted fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert 7-6(1), 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2. It was the World No. 50’s first main draw match at the US Open.
Did You Know?
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have enjoyed success as a doubles tandem this year, becoming known as the “Special Ks”. The friends won the Australian Open title together.