Kyrgios Blasts Past Youzhny to Win Opener at U.S. Open

by John on August 25, 2014

Kyrgios at U.S. Open

Nick Kyrgios picked up right where he left off at Wimbledon, playing dazzling, go-for-broke tennis and wreaking havoc with seeded players. The 19-year-old Australian heavy hitter defeated 21st seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 7-5, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1) in one of the first matches of the day today as the U.S. Open began its two-week run in New York. Kyrgios, a rising star with tremendous upside, had been the story of the Wimbledon fortnight, knocking off 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet and second-seeded Rafael Nadal en route to the quarterfinals. The win today makes Kyrgios the first teenager since Novak Djokovic in 2006 to defeat seeded players at back-to-back Grand Slam championships. Kyrgios needed to overcome searing heat, a nagging left arm injury and three code violations to take down the 32-year-old Youzhny, a former world No. 8 and two-time semifinalist at Flushing Meadows. The No. 60-ranked Kyrgios got the only break of the first set in the 11th game and served it out, despite nervously double-faulting twice from 40-0. Kyrgios broke in the first game of the second set and Youzhny in the eighth for the only breaks of the set to force a tiebreaker. Two mini-breaks by Kyrgios to Youzhny’s one was the difference in the tie-break, and gave the Australian a commanding 2-sets to love lead. Things started to become unglued for Kyrgios in the third set as he was broken in the first game and began to play with careless aplomb. The trainer was summoned again, as he had been in the first set, to give Kyrgios’ left forearm a vigorous rub, but the Australian was broken once more in the seventh game. Youzhny saved two break points in the next game and held to climb back into the match. Kyrgios was broken in the opening game again to start the fourth set, saved a set point in the ninth game and broke in the 10th to force another tiebreaker. He won it handily to bag the win in three hours and three minutes. “It was a tough first match playing Youzhny, someone that’s played well here in the past and last year making the quarterfinals,” Kyrgios said. “I knew I had to serve well, and I hit 26 aces. Those are good stats. I was struggling a little bit about the two-and-a-half hour mark, but I knew that if I hung in I would get that second wind where I could start playing good tennis again. That’s what happened in the fourth set.” Youzhny had six aces and double-faulted seven times, Kyrgios eight. With his easy power, Kyrgios hit 68 winners while committing 57 unforced errors. Youzhny’s comparables were 45 and 48 respectively.

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