Kyrgios rallies to Madrid victory
Nick Kyrgios has moved through to the second-round of the Madrid Open - but his victory came with injury struggles.
A battling Nick Kyrgios has made it through the first round of the Madrid Open with a 7-6(1) 6-4 victory over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.
The 16th-seeded Australian and Baghdatis exchanged heavy serving on the red clay with Kyrgios banging down 10 aces in a first set that featured zero break point opportunities for either player.
Kyrgios then raced through the tiebreak, taking a 6-0 lead with a combination of his own heavy winners and unforced errors from Baghdatis.
At the end of the set the Australian, who is playing his first tournament since the death of his grandfather, called for the trainer and received treatment on what appeared to be a problem with his left hip flexor.
The Australian could be heard by the on-court microphones telling the ATP Tour physio “I can serve but I can’t move that well,” before grimacing in pain as he received treatment.
In the second set it was more of the same as both players made the most of heavy serves and Kyrgios, while waiting for a Baghdatis racket change even played a game of noughts and crosses with himself, in the clay, at 2-2.
His movement, especially to his right appeared to hamper him and the 22-year-old again felt for his hip when dragged wide to his forehand side at 3-3 in the second set.
At 4-4, Kyrgios got the first break point of the match and duly converted when Baghdatis netted a backhand.
The Australian then served out the match to love, in a subdued performance that saw him hit 30 winners to 27 unforced errors.
The win sets up what could possibly be a second-round encounter with countryman Bernard Tomic, who plays American Ryan Harrison in his tournament opener on Tuesday.
Other seeded players to join Kyrgios in the second round include Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov – who beat German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(7) 6-4 – and Tomas Berdych after the Czech beat Denis Istomin in straight sets.
Kyrgios’s doubles partner Jack Sock was sent packing though, the American suffering a 6-4 0-6 7-6(4) loss to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
And in an all-French battle Gilles Simon upset 15th-seed Gael Monfils 0-6 6-0 7-6(0).