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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, August 15, 2017

 
Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios did not drop serve in a 6-2, 6-3 sweep of David Goffin and Juan Martin del Potro bombed 17 aces defeating Tomas Berdych, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-0.

Photo credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

An ongoing hip issue left Nick Kyrgios pacing slowly around the court between points today.

Kyrgios created a cure unloading an anesthetic serve.

Watch: Raonic Pulls Out Of Cincinnati

In a clash of wounded players, Kyrgios cracked 10 aces and cracked several second serves in excess of 130 mph overpowering David Goffin, 6-2, 6-3, in his Cincinnati opener.




Kyrgios will play Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round.

Qualifier Dolgopolov downed big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 7-6 (6). Dolgopolov drilled nine aces, won 34 of 36 first-serve points and did not face break point in a 93-minute victory.

Juan Martin del Potro blasted 17 aces in a 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-0 decision over 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych.


 

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Knowing he would struggle to match the quick-footed counter-puncher in extensive rallies, Kyrgios bombed first and second serves with point-ending fury.

“Definitely, he’s far better than me from the back of the court,” Kyrgios told Tennis Channel’s Leif Shiras afterward. “He loves playing from the ground. I’m not trying to give him too much rhythm so I just hit two first serves every point.

The 22-year-old Kyrgios retired from three consecutive opening-round matches because of the injury—Queen’s Club, Wimbledon and Washington, DC—and said he’s still not physically 100 percent healthy.

“I can still feel it,” Kyrgios said of his hip issue. “Obviously it doesn’t really help if I’m winning matches like this. If I keep putting in performances like this it doesn’t make it easier for me. “

It was Kyrgios third win over the ninth-seeded Belgian in as many meetings.

The 23rd-ranked Aussie defeated Goffin, 7-6 (5), 6-3, in the Miami round of 16 in March.

“He doesn’t have the biggest of weapons—you kind of find a good rhythm against him,” Kyrgios said. “He’s a tough, tough player. He’s had chances to beat me. I’m sure he will once in a while.”

After the opening set, Goffin took a near six-minute medical time-out to have his left knee taped up. That knee issue seemed to diminish the 5-foot-11 Belgian’s ability to push up on his serve, but fended off two break points holding for 1-all in the second set.

A flat-footed Kyrgios scattered an inside-out forehand facing break point in the fifth game. He erased it with an electric serve, eventually holding for 3-2.

Pacing slowly around the court between points, Kyrgios kept taking his cracks.

Fighting off a 94 mph second serve into the hip, Kyrgios curled a backhand return winner down the line breaking for 5-3.

Ignorance can compel Kyrgios to improvisational brilliance.

Kyrgios, whose love of his mischievious drop shot rivals his affinity for his beloved Boston Celtics, explained his volatile shot selection simply.

“I get told sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing out there,” Kyrgios told Tennis Channel’s Leif Shiras. “I play on instinct. I just do things and go for it and try to win that point. That’s what I did today (on the return). I said if it goes in I’m probably going to win the point.”

Despite the ongoing hip issue that forced Kyrgios to retire from his Wimbledon opener and prompted him to pull out from the start of the US Open Series, he opted against a medical time out. Kyrgios said he didn’t want to delay Goffin.

“I didn’t want to keep David waiting too long,” Kyrgios said. “He called trainer earlier in the set. I know he wasn’t nearly 100 percent either. All the best to him I hope he gets better and get back in full strength.”




Unleashing a 133 mph ace down the middle brought Kyrgios to triple match point. Another blast into the body ended it after 66 minutes.

Kyrgios said he must make a stronger commitment off court to make life smoother on court.

“It’s always tough—I’m not the most professional guy,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve got to start dedicating myself more to the game. I’m not doing enough off the court.”

 

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