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Joanita Wibowo

“Happy to get through”: Nick Kyrgios back to his best at Cincinnati Open

“Happy to get through”: Nick Kyrgios back to his best at Cincinnati Open

Nick Kyrgios is back on track.

After winning the Washington Open two weeks ago, the 24-year-old exited the Canadian Open early following his loss to Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

But the Aussie has returned to his best at the Cincinnati Masters as he claimed a 7-5, 6-4 win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the first round.

Kyrgios won 90 per cent of his service points in the match and earned his victory in one hour and 19 minutes.

“I actually felt as if I didn’t serve my best today at all,” Kyrgios told Tennis Channel. “I’m being serious. I didn’t feel like I was hitting my spots well at all.

“I’m just happy to get through.”

Kyrgios said playing against Sonego was “a lot of fun”.

He said, “Obviously just from that match I can see his strengths, his first serve and his forehand, looks to run around and dictate… I think the strengths of all my opponents come out when they play me. That's pretty cool.”

The world number 27 said he is “looking forward” to facing Russian Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Kyrgios said his family’s support has helped him in getting back on his feet. “I’ve got a long way to go, but, yeah, I mean, I just want to thank – obviously my brother flew to come to watch me play, but there's a lot of pieces that have been put in place,” he said.

“You know, they still believed in me when I honestly didn’t. I lost faith that I could still have weeks like this and be happy. So I just want to thank them for not losing that.”

Kyrgios’ world ranking climbed up to the top 30 following his second ATP Tour title win in Washington earlier this month, earning him a seeded spot at the US Open later this month.

He said he felt relieved that he did not have to play against big names early in the competition, like what he experienced when he had to face Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon this year.

“Obviously being seeded at a slam helps,” he said.

“I don't really care, but you don't really want to hit one of those big guys early on, for instance, say, at Wimbledon when I played Rafa.

“It’s good to have that guarantee that you’re not going to face one of the big guys in the early stages.”