Nick Kyrgios will have to beat three Americans in as many days to reach the Citi Open quarterfinals. After outpointing Marcos Girón in the first round, the 2019 Washington champion scored a 6-3, 6-4 decision in an entertaining night matchup against 14th seed Tommy Paul on Wednesday.
That sets up a round of 16 matchup with fourth seed Reilly Opelka, who leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head 2-0. “I always find my best tennis when I play Tommy,” said Kyrgios, who also beat Paul in Houston in April.
“I played two pretty flawless matches from a return and serving point of view.” The Aussie saved all four break points he faced against Paul, who used his athleticism and consistency to play his part in a crowd-pleasing match under the lights of DC.
The American created three of those break points at 2-2 in the second set as he began to take advantage of Kyrgios’ serve but was unable to get ahead. Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios did not create a break point in the second set until the final game, when his third break of the match closed it out after one hour and 25 minutes.
He also earned a straight-sets victory against Marcos Girón on Tuesday, claiming a win in his first singles match since his first major final. “I feel like all these games are so crucial. Since I didn’t get any points [Pepperstone ATP Rankings] from Wimbledon, I’m trying to stay focused,” the World No.
63 added in his post-match press conference. “But in a way, it’s good because I keep putting in really good performances.” Opelka hit 28 aces in a 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 victory against compatriot Denis Kudla. The fourth seed saved a break point early in the second set before winning 19 straight points on his serve to take the set.
Kyrgios defeated Tommy Paul
In his press conference following his victory over Paul, Nick Kyrgios said that had he been seeded, he wouldn’t have had to go through his ordeal at the tournament. “I think a seeded player doesn’t even play his first round,” said Kyrgios.
Last night, I played a first round, tough first round, and I got drug tested until 12:00 am midnight and expected to play tonight. He (a seeded player) gets to bed at the time he wants to get to bed. Eat what he wants to eat.
I was told to eat in the cafe when there was no food. These are just things I think a seeded player won’t have to deal with.”