Kyrgios all-business in first-round win over friend Kokkinakis

NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Australian Nick Kyrgios overcame his desperation when he saw his dear friend Thanasi Kokkinakis on the other side of the net on Monday, outscoring his compatriot 6-3 6-4 7-6(4) at the first round of the US Open.

The doubles partners won together at the Australian Open but landed on opposite sides in the final major of the year, where an in-form Kyrgios kept his sublime year on track, never facing a a break at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the battle of the “Special Ks.”

“It was a nightmare, honestly we never want to play each other,” Kyrgios said in an on-pitch interview. “I can’t wait to get out and play doubles with him on the right side of the net.”

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The Wimbledon runner-up bounced back from the first round last year but took care of business in just over two hours this time around, leaping into the air to smash an overhead volley to seal a largely routine first set after breaking Kokkinakis in the penultimate game. .

Kyrgios smashed Kokkinakis to like open the second set, knocking out 14 winners – twice as many as his opponent – ​​in a relatively blank display.

Not wanting to go down without a fight, the unseeded Kokkinakis had 10 aces in the final set, but were just no match for the superb Kyrgios, who lost just two of his first-serve points.

“We know each other’s game like the back of our hand,” said Kyrgios, who swept the last three points of the tie-break. “I’m just very happy to move forward.”

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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