On a hot steamy night at Flushing Meadows, Australia’s no. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios took on Radu Albot the world no. 95 from Moldova.
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Photo: NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Nick Kyrgios of Australia returns the ball during his men’s singles first round match against Radu Albot of Moldova on Day Two of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The opening games went with serve with Kyrgios hitting some hot shots that showed just what he can do with a tennis ball.
With Albot serving at 1-1 30-40 we saw the first break point opportunity for the Australian. He lost that opportunity when he hit the ball into the net.
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Photo: NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Radu Albot of Moldova returns the ball during his men’s singles first round match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia on Day Two of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
In the very next game it was Kyrgios that faced three break points against his serve after he served a double fault to bring up 0-40. A foot-fault, then a second serve fault handed Albot the first break of the opening set.
Kyrgios immediately broke back after a few winners from his racquet and a few unforced errors off of the Albot racquet.
At 3-4 down Kyrgios double faulted at 15-30 to give Albot two break points. He saved the first one after a great drop shot, then the second was saved with an ace. At deuce Kyrgios again double-faulted when he went for a big second serve.
Kyrgios forced an error from Albot to save the break point and then a swinging ace game Kyrgios game point. An unforced error let that slip before another ace got the advantage.
Kyrgios won the game after a series of shots that had his opponent running to all parts of the court.
At 5-5 Albot served a double fault at 15-0 to get Kyrgios level, then a big forehand from Kyrgios forced an error for 15-30. An even better forehand put Albot on the ground as he watched it zip by. Albot hit long on the next point to give Kyrgios a 6-5 lead.
Kyrgios closed out the first set with an inside-out forehand winner. He had seven aces to two and seven double faults to two in the opening set. The Australian was ahead 18 winners to seven, however, he hit 19 unforced errors to nine or Albot.
Kyrgios fought off several break points serving at 0-1 in the second set and he did it again serving at 1-2. His 11th double fault handed another break point to Albot and this time he converted for a 3-1 lead.
Albot raced away with the second set to win 6-2.
In the third set at 3-3 with Albot serving at deuce, Kyrgios forced an error from his opponent for a break point, but Albot hit a great down the line forehand to save that situation. An unforced error from Albot gave Kyrgios another break point. It was again saved after Kyrgios hit the ball into the net.
Kyrgios hit a great one-handed backhand pass to bring up yet another break, a double fault handed Kyrgios a 4-3 lead.
In the very next game, Kyrgios was again down a break point when serving at 30-40 but then out came another ace which rocketed off the court near the T. Kyrgios then played to great points, he served volleyed on a second serve to hit a drive volley for a winner. The next point was for the highlight reel. Kyrgios hit a stunning half-volley, followed by a tweener off the baseline, then off the drop shot that followed the big Australian raced to the net to effortlessly push a forehand for a winner.
The next two games went with serve which saw a more focused Kyrgios win the third set 6-4. At 9.10 pm it was still 32C to go along with high humidity.
Kyrgios had gone from looking out of the match in the second set to now powering away in the fourth set, but that is what you come to expect with the unpredictable Australian. Kyrgios held a 4-0 lead before eventually closing out the match 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Next up for Kyrgios is Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France. Herbert has reached the second round at the US Open for the first time from four attempts.
Alex de Minaur thrashes Japan’s Taro Daniel
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Photo: NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Alex De Minaur of Australia returns the ball during his men’s singles first round match against Taro Daniel of Japan on Day Two of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
de Minaur went into his opening round match at the US Open expecting a tough match. Daniel has solid form on the board as he moved up to a career-high 64. Just last week he reached the semis at the Salem-Winston ATP tournament. The Japanese player wilted under the hot New York conditions and was soundly beaten by the lively Australian. The final score was 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
In other matches involving Australians, John Millman easily accounted for USA wildcard recipient Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 6-2, 6-0. Ajla Tomjanovic defeated fellow Australian Lizette Cabrera 6-4, 6-1. Matt Ebden defeated Serbia’s Frank Krajinovic 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-1, 4-1 retired.