Kyrgios set for Miami return
The world No.16 returns to action at the Miami Open this week.
Nick Kyrgios returns to action at the Miami Open this week.
The in-form Canberra talent is the No.12 seed in a men’s draw rocked by late withdrawals of top-ranked duo Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic through injury.
Kyrgios still faces a tough challenge as he aims to win his first ATP Masters 1000 title, drawn in the same quarter as top seed and Indian Wells finalist Stan Wawrinka.
The 21-year-old Aussie receives a first round bye, then faces either Bosnian Damir Dzumhur or Korean Hyeon Chung in the second round. Big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, the No.17 seed, looms as a potential third round opponent.
It was in Miami 12 months ago that Kyrgios first broke into the world’s top 20, stunning Canadian Milos Raonic in an impressive run to the semifinals. It was a result that saw him became the youngest semifinalist in the tournament’s history and also the top-ranked Australian for the first time.
He is one of three Australians in the men’s singles main draw, joined by Bernard Tomic and Jordan Thompson.
Tomic is aiming to snap a five-match losing streak when he faces a qualifier in the opening round, with No.14 seed Roberto Bautista Agut waiting in the next round.
Thompson has drawn in-form Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka, who reached the fourth round at Indian Wells last week. Nishioka defeated Thompson in their only previous meeting in three sets in February. American No.13 seed Jack Sock waits in the second round.
Andrew Whittington was the sole Australian in qualifying but his bid to join his compatriots in the main draw ended with a tight first round loss to Argentinean Nicolas Kicker 76(3) 76(2) this morning.
In the WTA draw, Australian wildcards Ashleigh Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic both have tough opening round matches.
Barty, in her first singles match since winning her maiden WTA title in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, meets former world No.5 Eugenie Bouchard. Tomljanovic, in just her third tournament in a return from shoulder surgery, faces impressive 17-year-old American CiCi Bellis.
Should Barty beat Bouchard, she would next face fellow Australian and No.14 seed Sam Stosur, who has a first round bye. It would be first professional meeting between the two Queenslanders.
Tomljanovic could meet recently-crowned Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina in the second round.
Daria Gavrilova is also in this section of the draw, projected to meet Vesnina in the third round should seedings hold. As the No.23 seed, Gavrilova receives a first round bye and then meets either Belgian Yanina Wickmayer or Czech Lucie Safarova in the second round. Gavrilova holds a 2-0 win-loss record against Wickmayer, last beating the former world No.12 in Indian Wells last week, and a 2-all record against former world No.5 Safarova.
No Australians are scheduled when round one action hits off tomorrow.