Kyrgios through, Kokkinakis ousted
Nick Kyrgios has made a blazing start to his Wimbledon campaign yet fellow young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis fell on the opening day of The Championships.
Nick Kyrgios has made a blazing start to his Wimbledon campaign, but fellow young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis fell on the opening day of the championships.
Kyrgios blasted past Diego Schwartzman 6-0 6-2 7-6(6) in just 84 minutes before 24th seed Leonardo Mayer ousted a gallant Kokkinakis 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in a punishing three-hour three-set encounter.
Struggling Marinko Matosevic also lost in the first round after blowing a two-set advantage against British wildcard Liam Broady.
Matosevic’s 5-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 defeat was his 11th straight defeat and he faces the grim prospect of falling out of the world’s top 150 after the tournament.
Kyrgios, meanwhile, could not have made a hotter start to his championships.
He took the first set in just 17 minutes and, after conjuring more break points in the first game of the second set, threatened to emulate countryman Todd Woodbridge’s triple bagel win over Johan Ortegren in Wimbledon qualifying in 2001.
But the South American held serve to finally get on the scoreboard before Kyrgios resumed his first-round cakewalk.
A quarterfinalist last year ranked 144th in the world, Kyrgios is seeded 26th and rated by four-times champion John McEnroe as a title smokey in 2015.
The 20-year-old next faces either Juan Monaco or Florian Mayer on Wednesday after dispelling any doubts about his capacity to deliver after splitting with his coach on the tournament eve.
Kyrgios at times toyed with Schwartzman, dazzling fans with a deadly mix of deft touch and awesome firepower.
The Australian dropped serve in the third set but broke back immediately before taking the match in a third-set tiebreaker.
“I came out strongly. I haven’t played too much tennis lately. I’ve been sick,” Kyrgios said.
“But it’s great to be back on the grass. I barely missed a ball for the first two sets and I’m going to gain so much confidence out of that third set. I had to dig deep.”
Kyrgios said he’d been battling a sinus infection, but that it was “under control now”.
Kokkinakis falls in maiden Wimbledon appearance
Kokkinakis, who was laid low with a stomach bug in the lead-up to the tournament, floundered in the hot conditions to go down 7-6(7) 7-6(3) 6-4 on Monday, becoming the first of a monster Australian contingent to be eliminated.
The 19-year-old looked the better of the two in the first set, but the Argentine’s experience shone through in both tiebreakers.
Kokkinakis is no stranger to five-set marathons, having come from two sets down to defeat compatriot Bernard Tomic at the French Open last month.
He displayed those same fighting qualities in a near three-hour clash on Court 16, saving two match points before luck went against him.
Serving to stay in the match the youngster looked on in despair as a firm Mayer backhand clipped the net and dropped softly over to close out the three-set win.