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By Erik Gudris | Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios brought the entertainment value hitting an underarm tweener serve against Kevin Anderson in his opening-round Atlanta win.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Nick Kyrgios once again proved why he enjoys playing in Atlanta as he delighted fans with an opening round win at the ATP 250 Truist Atlanta Open event.

Kyrgios, a past champion in 2016, needed all the shots in his arsenal to fend off recent Newport winner Kevin Anderson. Kyrgios secured the 7-6(4), 6-3 victory without facing a break point all night.

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That included Kyrgios flicking over an underarm tweener serve halfway through the first set.

"Kevin is no easy opponent, he’s a finalist at Grand Slams and he knows how to win matches,” Kyrgios said after the match. “His serve is one of the best in the world, so I knew today was going to be incredibly tough. I haven’t played too many matches, but I was serving well and I just love playing here in Atlanta.”

Kyrgios, late in the second set, took advantage of a shaky Anderson second serve to secure the only break of the match for 4-3.

At match point, Kyrgios asked a fan in the crowd on how he should serve the critical point. Kyrgios took the fan's advice and fired down a big serve out wide that sealed the win after almost 90 minutes.

“It’s a routine that I’ve been doing for the last few years, just trying to get the fans involved,” Kyrgios said. “I saw that he had an ‘NK Nation’ hat on, and I said, ‘Where do you want me to serve?’ He just said, ‘Just go big, wide.’ So there you go.”

Tennis Express

Kyrgios will next face in the second round the third seeded Cameron Norrie who recently won the Los Cabos event.

Earlier in the day, Brandon Nakashima defeated Trent Bryde 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-4. The 19-year-old American who reached the Los Cabos final will next face top seed Milos Raonic.


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