In an all-Australian third round, it was Nick Kyrgios taking on Alex de Minaur at the Montreal ATP Masters 1000.
Officially it is de Minaur that is the top-ranked Australian, but if you add in the points Kyrgios would normally have earned from his Wimbledon final appearance he would be sitting at around no. 14.
This was the first time the pair had met at the ATP tour level. They would have however played many practice sets on Davis Cup duties.
Kyrgios has been in hot form over recent months and he put on a clinic in the first set. He served as always with great power and placement.
The groundstrokes were also hit very clean as the Canberran raced to a 4-0 lead.
Kyrgios would take the first set 6-2 in just 23 minutes hitting 16 winners and having just one unforced error.
It was again Kyrgios that broke early in the set, only to see de Minaur break back. Kyrgios was also becoming agitated at his support team.
The world no. 21, however, wasn’t able to hold his next serve, and again Kyrgios was up a break, he would consolidate to lead 3-1.
After two service holds for 2-4 with de Minaur serving, Kyrgios was again able to break and then serve for the match at 5-2.
World no. 37 jumped out to a 30-0 lead and looked to have the match in the bag. He did however have a momentary lapse of concentration.
He pulled a backhand wide and then on the next point hit a backhand into the net. Kyrgios then reacted with his box for the next few points. The game culminated with a flat forehand hit into the net to see de Minaur stay in the match.
When Kyrgios starts to rant he is able to quickly flick a switch and focus back on the tennis. The next point was a clean backhand winner for 0-15.
A more impressive backhand came that was hit down the line as a winner. de Minaur hit long and suddenly Kyrgios had three match points.
It took just one as Kyrgios hit a backhand that skidded off the baseline and de Minaur wasn’t able to keep the ball in play.
The match took one hour and two minutes with a 6-2, 6-2 scoreline.
Kyrgios said after the match that it was mentally tough to face his good friend, but you would not have known it.
“Today was really hard mentally for me to go out here and play Alex. We’re such good friends,” said Kyrgios following the first ATP-level match between the two Australians.
“He’s been having such a good career so far and carrying the Australian flag for so long. It was just tough mentally. It’s never easy to play a friend like that, especially if they’re Australian.”
A stat that showed just how dominant Kyrgios was on return was the 1st service points won. de Minaur only won 50%, while Kyrgios was at 78% on his booming first serve.
The only good stat for de Minaur was that he converted two from two break points, Kygios however won six from 10.
The win moves Kyrgios up to no. 27 on the live rankings. He will face Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals.