Nick Kyrgios got off to an early break in his second-round match against world number 50 Benjamin Bonzi, but the Frenchman hit back.
Kyrgios is coming off a “nightmare” match against fellow Australian and good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis, who has been nursing him straight for improvement.
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It was an impressive performance from Kyrgios, who served 14 aces, won 86 percent of his first serve points and didn’t allow Kokkinakis a single break point.
Jelena Dokic said Kyrgios had that “razor” focus early in the match against Bonzi, which quickly broke the Frenchman to get the chance.
“We talk a lot about Nick’s game and we know how good he is and I think we’ve talked a lot about his performance this year and to me he’s the best he’s ever been,” Dokic opened up in commentary. Channel 9.
“But for me, it’s been the matches he’s enjoyed and I think those past matches have been tough for him to stay focused, go out there and find that strength and energy. He has a winning record against many great players. But this year was different.
“He’s playing players where he needs to win and on paper he’s the favorite, he’s coming out and really focused and doing his job. That’s the mindset we’ve seen.”
But it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk straight ahead for Kyrgios, with Bonzi coming back in the fourth game after the Australian characteristically struggled with his first serve.
“He missed quite a few in that game,” Dokic said.
“He is aggressive, takes the ball early and is on the field. He took the opportunity to be aggressive and came forward. He’s what you have to do if you’re going to beat Nick.
Kyrgios soon had a few chances to break back but was unable to do so, adding to his frustration as the Australian took out in the box.
That’s what Todd Woodbridge was concerned about in his comments.
“I feel like it’s going to be a tough day for Nick,” Woodbridge said.
“We’re just 3-all and that’s all leading to the box. You have eyes that start to roll. Not a good sign at all.
“He was angry at himself because he was 2-0 and had a break and dropped a very good service game for him. He more or less doesn’t lose a lot of service games. He couldn’t get the first serve in the game he dropped.”
Everyone knows he’s talented and can play great tennis, but the locker room knows you’re going to go out there now and you don’t have any feelings for him and you’re not going to give him any energy in that position and he’s going to be distracted by himself.
Kyrgios described Bonzi as a “very strong player” earlier this week and said he was “having a very good season”.
Kyrgios was a fan of NBA star Ben Simmons, who appeared in the stands before the Australian’s match.