Nick At Night: Kyrgios Cruises To Round Of 16
Nick Kyrgios pulled out all the tricks in his bag on Sunday at the Miami Open presented by Itau. The Aussie was entertaining and efficient in securing a 6-3, 6-1 win over Dusan Lajovic under the lights on Stadium court.
Kyrgios gave the Miami faithful their money's worth, producing underarm serves, no-look volleys, scorching forehands and a rolling, spirited conversation with a fan, who was ultimately ejected for his part in the first-set exchange. He ousted Lajovic in just 57 minutes, firing 25 winners, including seven off his forehand wing.
Exactly one year after the Aussie and the Serbian first met on the ATP Tour, Kyrgios replicated his straight-set victory from the 2018 first round. He now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 2-0.
"I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring on the tennis court, but I'm going out there and having fun," said Kyrgios. "I served well and returned well and I'm really happy. Today it was a pretty good all-around performance."
Kyrgios looked to be on the ropes as proceedings got underway on Sunday night, with Lajovic earning three break points in the first game. But the Canberra native was clutch in the big moments, denying all three with aces.
Three games later, Kyrgios had a break of his own, taking an early lead and consolidating for 4-1 with an underarm serve - an ace and his first of two successful underarm serves in the match. The magic would continue in the next game, as he punched a no-look volley into the open court.
Kyrgios would streak to 6-3 and refused to look back, breaking twice in the second set before securing the victory on his first match point. He dominated points under five shots throughout the affair, to the tune of 48-23.
Miami has become a happy hunting ground for the World No. 33, who advances to the fourth round for a fourth straight year. A semi-finalist in both 2016 and 2017, he also reached the Round of 16 last year, before falling to Alexander Zverev.
The recent champion at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco, Kyrgios is in the midst of a 7-1 run and will be pushing for a Top 30 return in the ATP Rankings. Coming up next is a blockbuster Tuesday date with Borna Coric.
"Borna is an unbelievable competitor and one of the best players in the world," Kyrgios added. "He knows how to win matches and is an unbelievable athlete. He moves incredibly well and I know he won't give me a single point. I'm not going to think about it right now though. I have a day off tomorrow."
Coric completed the last match of the day on Sunday, rallying past Jeremy Chardy 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 36 minutes.