Kyrgios cruises into the third round
Nick Kyrgios overcame a wardrobe malfunction to down Pablo Cuevas in straight sets
Nick Kyrgios has overcome a wardrobe malfunction and serving arm soreness to safely progress to the Australian Open third round in Melbourne.
The colourful Aussie swept aside Uruguayan claycourt specialist Pablo Cuevas 6-4 7-5 7-6 (7-2) in one hour, 58 minutes on Wednesday night despite repeated problems with a pair of shorts.
The pockets were apparently not deep enough to contain the balls, leaving Kyrgios needing to fetch one from a ballboy between first and second serves.
“It was an absolute circus,” Kyrgios said. “I’m not going to talk about it too much. It was just a massive mix up and I guess it’s just part of some of the challenges you face.”
In reality, Kyrgios was in complete control throughout the contest.
The Aussie showed true grit to save break point after copping a late overrule from Ramos in the opening set.
One break of his own, coming in the third game, was enough for Kyrgios to secure the set, clinching it with a lovely wide-angled second-serve ace.
He forced another early break in the second set, letting out a huge roar – a mix of frustration and delight – after assuming command.
Kyrgios peeled off three straight games after his service lapse to nab the second set and gained another break to go 2-1 up in the third.
The 29th seed required a medical timeout to have his right arm massaged and had to stave off successive set points after dropping serve for the second time and then finding himself down 4-5 and 15-40.
But after regrouping, Kyrgios closed out the match in a tiebreaker with a ferocious backhand crosscourt winner.
He finished with 19 aces, 50 winners and just 27 unforced errors.
“I’m just relieved to obviously get through in straight sets. He’s one of the best athletes on tour,” Kyrgios said before playing down any injury worries.
“Everything’s fine. Just a little bit of pain but nothing to be too concerned about.”
Kyrgios will now face Tomas Berdych in the third round. Kyrgios and Berdych have never previously met, but the world No.6 – a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park for the past two years – shapes as the Australian’s biggest test yet.