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Nick Kyrgios began his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over his doubles partner and close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of the US Open.

Kyrgios came into the US Open in career-best form having made the final at Wimbledon and winning his first title in three years at the Citi Open.

Except for his usual antics towards his box for not standing up after every point, Kyrgios managed to maintain his composure in what was a clinical performance.

Both players comfortably held serve in the opening seven games of the first set before Kyrgios broke in the eighth game of the set to lead 5-3. As usual, Kyrgios’ serve proved too difficult to break as he closed out the first yet.

Kyrgios got off to the perfect start in the second, breaking Kokkinakis’ serve in the opening game of the set. Kyrgios had no problems capitalizing on his early break of serve as Kokkinakis failed to make any inroads on one of the best serves the game has seen.

The third set was a much tighter contest with Kokkinakis saving multiple breakpoints to send the set into a tiebreak. At 4-4 in the tiebreak, Kyrgios took control with some exquisite shot-making to close out the match.

When Kyrgios's serve is firing, he is a hard man to beat. He did not face one breakpoint and won 86% points on his first serve.

Post-match, Kyrgios was pleased with his performance but expressed his disappointment that he had to play his best friend.

“I played a really good first couple of sets, got on top of the match early,” he said.

“When we saw the draw, it was a nightmare honestly. We never want to play each other, and he probably beats 80 per cent of the draw tonight, he has been playing really good.”

“I’ve just got so much respect for him so I can’t wait to get out there and play doubles with him on the right side of the net in a couple of days.”

On commentary, Australian legend Todd Woodbridge remarked that Kyrgios finally let his tennis be the centre of attention.

“What I’m loving is he always talks about putting on a good show, it (the show) used to be about the antics, now it’s about the racquet”. Next up, Kyrgios will face Frenchman, Benjamin Bonzi in the second round.


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