Nick Kyrgios upsets No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny in U.S. Open first round
NEW YORK -- Nick Kyrgios keeps on trucking. The 19-year-old took the first step in proving his star-making run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals was no fluke, dispatching No. 21 seed Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1) on Monday in the first round of his second U.S. Open main draw.
Decked out in a loud pink Nike shirt in front of a packed crowd on Court 17, Kyrgios's full array of power tennis was on display. He served 26 aces, reaching 137 mph, and hit 68 winners to 57 unforced errors.
Kyrgios arrived here having played just two matches since Wimbledon, beating Santiago Giraldo and losing to Andy Murray at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The rest he received after withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open because of an arm injury appears to have done him well. His exciting blend of pure firepower with a soft touch at the net earned him a two-set lead on Youzhny, before the young Australian's game began to fall apart. Kyrgios dropped the third set in just 28 minutes. His serve lost its edge -- his speed dropped by at least 10 mph -- and he was broken twice. His return game fell off as well, as he went from getting well over 70 percent of his returns in play to dipping below 60 percent.
The frustration showed, as Kyrgios received three code violations, which resulted in a warning, a point penalty and then a game penalty early in the fourth set. That put him just one code violation from being defaulted from the match. Kyrgios admitted later that the outbursts may not help him.
"It just comes from having high expectations most of the time," he said in a press conference after the match. "I have been an emotional player most of my career. Maybe I will be able to manage it in the future."
Despite his outbursts, Kyrgios rebounded and saved a set point serving at 3-5 in the fourth set and then broke Youzhny as he was serving for the set at 5-4. The break unlocked his frustration and his big serves and forehands came back. He raced away in the tiebreak, building a 5-0 lead before closing it out at 7-1.
Kyrgios will play Andreas Seppi in the second round.
"It will be an interesting match. He's solid on both wings. He has a good serve, as well," Kyrgios said when asked about Seppi. "I think I'm going to have to play aggressive and keep the match on my racket. It's going to be exciting."