Nick Kyrgios Australian Open 2021

Nick Kyrgios beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Cincinnati opener

Nick Kyrgios bounced back strongly after a slow start to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 6-4 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The match took time to get going for Nick Kyrgios who needed 45 minutes to get into top gear. This season has been his best in years due to a newfound dose of seriousness that has yielded results. It’s been even more impressive since he touched down in North America a couple of weeks ago winning a singles title and two doubles titles.

His stellar run was stopped by Hubert Hurkacz in Montreal last week as he dealt with back discomfort ,but the big-serving Australian returned to form here. Kyrgios had never played Davidovich Fokina and he had early issues against the energetic playing style of the Spaniard.

Early on Kyrgios was lacking the intensity of the past couple of weeks but soon rediscovered it. The first break point came in the 8th game on the serve of Kyrgios and it was saved with a 2nd serve that was inches away from being a double fault. A superb backhand return gave Kyrgios his first breakpoint in the 11th game of the match and another backhand winner sealed the deal.

The turnaround came about thanks to a noticeable increase in engagement as he looked sharper as the match progressed. A solid service game finished off the first set in front of the packed stands.

An erratic start to the 2nd set by Davidovich Fokina gave Kyrgios an early break. More mistakes by the Spaniard handed Kyrgios a 2-0 lead and it seemed like the match was all but over.

However, Davidovich Fokina didn’t give up and after saving a break point to avoid a 0-3 deficit the Spaniard tied the set at 2-2. His joy lasted only briefly as a forehand return winner created another break point chance for Kyrgios and a backhand down the line sealed it. His serve carried him towards the finish line with the clock stopping at one hour and 29 minutes.

The next challenge is Taylor Fritz who advanced past Sebastian Baez 6-1 6-1.

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