Tennis news: Nick Kyrgios opens up on struggle to overcome Wimbledon loss
Nick Kyrgios has spoken about the difficulty of bouncing back from his Wimbledon loss to Novak Djokovic following a successful singles comeback at the Citi Open in Washington.
In a dominating and emotionally controlled performance, Kyrgios beat American Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2 in his first singles match since the Wimbledon final last month.
The victory showed he will be a force at the US Open later this month, but the 27-year-old admitted it had been “extremely difficult” to recover from losing his first final in Grand Slam singles.
“It took me a while to get over this loss,” Kyrgios said.
“Since I picked up a racket, that’s always been the goal I’ve been told, (to do) a Wimbledon final, a Wimbledon championship, that’s… the highest honor you can get .
“And I was so close that I almost tasted it. So it was really hard for me to come to terms with that loss, but I feel like I did everything I could to bounce back, I trained hard, my body feels good and I’m serving very well, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Former Washington Open winner Kyrgios said the nerves were returning to the venue and was happy with how he overcame a slow start against Giron.
“I won the tournament in 2019, seeing my name on the stadium (before today’s game) and knowing that I didn’t play well at all here last year – I lost the first round.
“I was just going through such a dark time in my life and I’m so happy to be here with my team and the love and support I’m getting from the crowd, I’m really really happy to be here and playing again good tennis.
Kyrgios has spoken of his desire to handle moments of pressure better and it showed in Washington, where he drove through a tight spot midway through the first set without losing his composure.
Although he knocked a ball out of the stadium at 3-3 40-40, earning a booking, he won the game – and dominated the rest of the first set and the match.
Kyrgios revealed on Wednesday morning that he will be skipping the Laver Cup to spend more time with his family.
“No Laver Cup for me this year!!!” Kyrgios posted on Instagram.
“I’m just letting you all know. I must have this house with my family and my beautiful girlfriend.
It’s a disappointment for Team World fans, who had seen the Australian play in all four previous editions of the competition.
Kyrgios, who also plays doubles in Washington, teaming up with American Jack Sock after winning the Atlanta Open doubles with Hanasi Kokkinakis over the weekend, will continue his singles run against 14th seed Tommy Paul Thursday (AEST).
AUSSIE ROUT AS DE MINAUR, SPECIAL KS VICTORY AGAIN
Australian number 1 Alex de Minaur is set to re-enter the top 20, just four weeks from the US Open after winning the Atlanta Open for the second time.
The 23-year-old won his sixth career ATP title – all at the 250 level – and the first for 2022, with a 6-3 6-3 loss to American Jenson Brooksby in 91 minutes.
De Minaur’s victory preceded Australian Open champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios who won the doubles final from Atlanta 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 over compatriots Jason Kubler and John Peers .
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have now won 14 of 16 games together this season, including reaching the Miami Masters semi-finals as well as their first Grand Slam title.
De Minaur’s victory was his second title in Atlanta after also winning the singles title in 2019, beating another American, Taylor Fritz, before advancing to the last 16 at that year’s US Open, which starts at the end of August.
The tournament did not take place the following season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while de Minaur skipped last year’s edition as he recovered from the virus.
Fellow Aussie and close friend Matt Reid stepped in to train him for the week, with regular mentor Adolfo Gutierrez joining him at this week’s ATP 500 event in Washington.
Australian Davis Cup assistant coach Jaymon Crabb also backed him in Atlanta.
“My coach (Gutierrez) is currently on a trip to Washington. He’s on the plane and couldn’t watch the final, so hopefully when he lands he’ll get a nice little notification on his phone” , said de Minaur.
“I have Matt Reid there, who helped me this week. He found time in his busy schedule to come here and help me and we’re unbeaten as a team, so thank you very much.
“Jaymon Crabb is here on Davis Cup business, but he (also) put in a lot of hours during the hot, hot Atlanta summer.”
Third-seeded De Minaur proved far too strong for Brooksby in their first meeting, breaking the world No. 43 four times while losing serve just once.
The match turned in the Australian star’s favor in game six of the first set when he took a 4-2 lead, having avoided a pair of break points three games earlier.
That was enough for de Minaur, who had come from a set down in the previous two rounds, to take a one-set lead before the rivals traded breaks to start the second set.
Neither player faced another break point until game seven, when de Minaur wore Brooksby down with a few long rallies before the American threw back-to-back weary forehands into the net to concede the serve .
The result will see the Aussie drop from his current standings of 30 to 21 – and in view of his career ranking of 15.
de Minaur has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year but will look to match at least his career-best quarter-final at the 2020 US Open when he competes in New York.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis blasted 15 aces past Kubler and Peers and converted the game’s only break in the final game to seal a narrow victory in straight sets.
It was an unlikely turn of events for Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios, who pulled out ahead of their first-round singles clash in Atlanta with left knee pain but continued in doubles.