Nick Kyrgios is Australia’s biggest hope of winning the title in Melbourne and rightly so. He has been impeccable in the tournament so far as he progresses to the third round here for the third time in four years. It is also the second time that Kyrgios has made the third round of the Australian Open without dropping a set.
The mercurial Australian backed up his sublime opening round performance with another spectacular victory over Viktor Troicki. The 22-year-old started the match in sensational fashion as he did not drop a single first serve point in the entire opening set, eventually taking it 7-5.
Kyrgios managed to maintain his high level into the second set, particularity on serve where he dropped just four points in total despite having a relatively low first serve percentage of 67%. Kyrgios created just one break point opportunity for himself but the entertaining Australian was clinical and took full advantage of the chance before racing to a two-set lead.
The third set seemed to follow the story of the match: Kyrgios was just untouchable on serve. This was the case until what seemed to be the final game when the 22-year-old attempted to serve for the match. Out of nowhere, the Serbian had manufactured break points for himself for the first time in the contest which he managed to take. Despite losing three games in a row, Kyrgios showed great maturity by regrouping to close out the match on a 7-2 tiebreak.
Although we often describe the Australian as a flashy player, it was his consistency that was most impressive in this match. He did not play his best but he was able to maintain a level good enough to comfortably defeat his opponent. He did what he needed to do.
“It was a tough match so I’m happy to get through,” the Australian said, “A lot of things [were] going on today, a lot of adversity.” Indeed it was a match that presented many distractions but Nick Kyrgios remained focused. The chair umpire’s microphone was not working so it was difficult to hear calls and there was also helicopters overhead which were so loud you could barely hear the ball being struck off the strings.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Awaits Nick Kyrgios in Round Three
Nick Kyrgios’ next match will no doubt be his toughest yet; he will face talented Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the last sixteen. Tsonga came through a marathon match against teenage sensation Denis Shapovlov as the Frenchman dug deep after finding himself two sets to one down. Kyrgios will start as the favorite in this match because he will have more gas in the tank than the 32-year-old Tsonga.
The Australian looked up to Tsonga as a youngster, “He’s one of my idols, he’s a great friend of mine.” Friendships will need to be put to one side as these two magicians of tennis battle it out. They have played once before in an extremely high-quality match that Tsonga won on home soil in three sets last year. Now the Australian will have a chance to get revenge on his home turf.
When the draw came out I picked Kyrgios to make the final. Not many players can beat the Australian when he is at his aggressive best and he is in great form as he is undefeated this season. A tricky test awaits him but it is definitely one that the 22-year-old can come through. Nick Kyrgios looks focused and a man on a mission to perhaps win the title here in Melbourne.