Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has again struggled with a hip injury on the way to a first-round loss against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the Toronto ATP 1000 tournament.
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Photo: TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 07: Nick Kyrgios of Australia leaps to return the ball in his match vs. Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Rogers Cup Tuesday August 7, 2018 at Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Wawrinka defeated Kyrgios 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Wawrinka had a look at a breakpoint in the very first game of the match, but after that, it was one-way traffic in the first set as the Australian cruised to a 6-1 first set which he claimed with his seventh ace.
Games went with serve in the second set, but it was at 4-5 that Kyrgios called for the trainer and received treatment on his troublesome left hip. It is an issue that comes and goes and saw Kyrgios withdraw from the Washington event last week.
It was in the 12th game where Kyrgios failed to close out a 40-15 advantage. Wawrinka hit a great return that Kyrgios attempted a tweener half-volley that he netted, then a missed backhand that just went long got Wawrinka to deuce. After Kyrgios got another game point some good hitting saw Wawrinka save that, then at deuce Kyrgios played a careless shot that he netted.
This gave Wawrinka a look at a breakpoint to win the second set. Kyrgios played a serve and volley on the second serve and from several metres behind the baseline the Swiss player fired back a dipping passing shot to take the set 7-5.
Kyrgios had a look at a breakpoint at 30-40 with Wawrinka serving at 1-1, A kicking second serve saw a short return from the Australian which Wawrinka then hit back for a winner to save that situation. A double fault presented Kyrgios with another opportunity to get an early break which Wawrinka again saved with a winner. An ace then another winner sealed the game for a 2-1 lead.
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Photo: TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 07: Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to opponent Nick Kyrgios of Australia in their match at the Rogers Cup Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at Aviva Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Wawrinka defeated Kyrgios 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Games went with serve until like in the second set it was Kyrgios serving at 5-6 to stay in the set, and match. A missed volley at 15-15 gave Wawrinka a sniff, then a wide backhand from Kyrgios saw Wawrinka earn a match point, that was snuffed out with an ace, however there was a second opportunity. As he did on set point in the second set, Kyrgios played a serve-volley on the second serve and again with Wawrinka almost against the back wall he hit a dipping pass attempt, this time Kyrgios got his racquet on the ball however he made a horrible mess of the attempt and sent the ball to the ground, not even close.
A dramatic turnaround for Wawrinka as he continues his comeback from a knee injury. Wawrinka claimed the match 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 after two hours and three minutes. The win takes the head-to-head to 3-2.
Kyrgios hit 44 winners to Wawrinka with 35 and in the unforced errors, it was 34-23 for Kyrgios. The Australian fired down 26 aces to 13, and had five double-faults to Wawrinka’s four.
“It’s never easy to play against him. He doesn’t give you a lot of freedom. He can serve big. Games can go really quickly on his side,” Wawrinka said. “For sure he’s struggling physically… For me, it was important to stay focused on myself, on my game. I’m trying to get some confidence from winning matches.”
“My hip is, obviously, a little bit sore,” Kyrgios said. “That’s why I called the trainer on the court… I haven’t played for two weeks. So I walked into the match knowing my hip probably wasn’t 100%.
“I was playing well, I thought. It’s good to see [Stan] back. He’s obviously had a tough 12 months with his injury, and it’s good seeing him back winning some matches.”