Kyrgios Can't Be Touched In D.C.
Aussie Nick Kyrgios experienced a gamut of emotions on Sunday during the Citi Open final: Discomfort from his back, glee from his tweeners and joy from another flawless week at an ATP 500 event.
The 24-year-old beat World No. 10 Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 7-6(4) for his second ATP 500 title of the season in Washington, D.C. Kyrgios won the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco in March (d. Zverev) and has now won six ATP Tour titles, including three at the ATP 500 level (Tokyo 2016).
"This has honestly been one of my favourite weeks of my life. I've made massive strides," Kyrgios said. "I started becoming friends with the smoothie guy, he knew what smoothie I wanted. I was playing ping pong with some kids before I'm playing. You guys were amazing. It was honestly a week to remember."
“I’ve had people behind me, backing me, and they never lost faith in me even when I lost faith in myself. This week means a lot. It’s great to get the win, but I’ve proved to myself and the people backing me that I can still produce at the highest level.”
The Aussie mixed up baseline rallies well against Medvedev, slicing and bringing the 6'6” Russian to net with drop shots. But Kyrgios' serve was the story as he never faced a break point and hit 18 aces, including two to close out the final. Kyrgios finished with 110 aces through six matches.
He improved to 5-1 against Top 10 players in 2019, a winning percentage of 83, best on the ATP Tour this year. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has won seven of his nine matches against Top 10 players this season (7/9, 78%).
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Kyrgios, No. 52, will receive 500 ATP Rankings points and is projected to return to the Top 30 on Monday when the new standings are released. He also will receive $365,390 in prize money.
“We all know how well Nick can play when he wants to. This week he wanted to play, and he was tough,” Medvedev said.
The Russian lost only one service point before the first-set tie-break and had the set on his racquet at 5/4. But Kyrgios stole the tie-break, saving a set point at 5/6 and gaining his third mini-break to take the opener.
After the first set, the Aussie took a medical time-out, which seemed to solve the back spasms that had him stretching on court during changeovers. But he still couldn't break through on Medvedev's serve. The Russian won 80 per cent of his service points for the match (55/69). He will receive 300 ATP Rankings points and $183,780 in prize money.
In the tie-break, Kyrgios was again the steadier of the two, jumping ahead by a mini-break at 5/3 when Medvedev lifted a forehand long, and the Aussie continued his match-point Washington tradition. For the third match in a row, before serving on match point, he leaned over the court side wall and asked a fan for advice on where he should hit his serve. Kyrgios then delivered another ace out wide in the Deuce Court.
Did You Know?
The Citi Open sold out seven of 11 sessions, including one of the qualifying rounds. This was the tournament's first edition under the management of entrepreneur Mark Ein. “We shattered every attendance record ever for this event. We beat the all-time ticket revenue on Tuesday night,” Ein said.