After enjoying first-round doubles success on Monday at the BOSS OPEN in Stuttgart, Nick Kyrgios returned on Tuesday and started his singles campaign in similarly solid fashion…this time wearing the correct shoes.
After his bags went missing in transit en route from Australia to the ATP 250 event in south-west Germany, Kyrgios wore a pair of clay-court shoes in his first-round doubles win alongside Alexander Bublik. Luckily for the six-time tour-level titlist, he was reunited with his bags just in time for his maiden ATP Tour meeting with Jiri Lehecka.
“Everything came last night,” explained Kyrgios after his 7-6(3), 6-3 victory against the #NextGenATP Czech on Tuesday afternoon. “Today was the first time I wore grass-court shoes. I played my doubles in clay-court shoes yesterday… and still won!”
The World No. 78 produced an impressive serving performance to see off Lehecka. The Australian fired 18 aces and dropped just seven points behind his first delivery in a 77-minute win, sealed with a crowd-pleasing underarm tweener serve on match point that Lehecka returned long.
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“That’s what I have to do to win matches, serve big and play on my instinct,” said Kyrgios. “I’ve been hitting tennis balls in Australia on grass, so I’ve had some preparation. Obviously, nothing like a match, but I never really need matches under my belt to go out there and perform.
“I knew it was going to be tough. I didn’t have the best preparation here. My tennis bag didn’t come until yesterday, I didn’t have grass-court shoes, I had my clay-court shoes. There was a bit of adversity, but I’m feeling good moving forward.”
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Kyrgios is playing his first tournament since April in Stuttgart. He holds a 2-2 record at the German event, losing to the eventual champion (Roger Federer in 2018, Matteo Berrettini in 2019) on both previous appearances there.
“The atmosphere is great here,” Kyrgios said. “I like the crowd here. I’ve had some good memories here. Every time I’ve lost at this tournament, I ended up losing to the winner. So hopefully I don’t lose, and if I lose, that person knows they’re probably going to win the tournament!”
Kyrgios’ second-round opponent will be fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili or Lorenzo Musetti. Their first-round match was interrupted by rain in the second set, with Basilashvili holding a 7-5, 4-2 lead and 30/0 up on his own serve.