Back on the singles court Tuesday night for the first time since last month’s Wimbledon final, Nick Kyrgios picked up where he left off with a dominant Citi Open win.
Still donning his tennis whites — at least his shirt and cap — Kyrgios rolled past Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour. The Aussie was a different class once he settled into the evening session match, saving an early break point before dominating from 3-3 in the opening set.
“I came out a bit slow, obviously very different conditions to Wimbledon,” said Kyrgios, who later admitted it took him a long time to get over his four-set final defeat to Novak Djokovic. “I think it was just a bit of nerves as well. I won the tournament in 2019. Seeing my name up on the stadium and then knowing I didn’t play well here at all last year — I lost the first round and I was just going through such a dark time in my life.
“I’m just so happy to be here with my team, the love and support from the crowd. I’m just really happy to be out here playing some good tennis again.”
Kyrgios finished with 12 aces and an 82 per cent (28/34) win rate on first serve, along with a few tweeners. He also revived the tradition that served him well in his 2019 Washington title run: asking a fan in the front row where to serve on match point.
Though Kyrgios missed the target on first serve, apologizing to the fan, he fired an unreturned second delivery to wrap up the comfortable win.
The unseeded Aussie improved to 9-0 in opening rounds this season and 22-7 on the year. He will next face 14th seed Tommy Paul in the American’s opening match at the ATP 500 event. Another home favorite — fourth seed Reilly Opelka — could await in the third round.
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Kyrgios has advanced to the semi-finals or better in four of his past five tournaments since April, but is seeking his first singles title of 2022. He has won two doubles titles with countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis, at the Australian Open and on Sunday in Atlanta , where a knee injury forced him to withdraw from the singles competition.
Kyrgios is teaming with Jack Sock in Washington, and the pair earned a 6-4, 6-4 upset of third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer on Monday evening.
“Having guys like Jack and Thanasi, these guys are much more than friends for me,” Kyrgios added. “They know I’d do anything for them. I’ve been there for them and they’ve been there for me. I can’t give credit to those guys enough. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend… I can’t give those guys enough credit because I really wouldn’t be here without them.”