Nick Kyrgios put behind “17 hours a day” in bed with Covid to set up a blockbuster second-round showdown with tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
unpredictable Australian breezed through a straight-sets win over Britain’s
Liam Broady 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in 1hr 54mn amid mayhem generated by his boisterous
fans inside John Cain Arena.
set up a clash with world number two Medvedev, who won his opening-round match
against Henri Laaksonen.
It was a
troubled build-up to his home tournament for the colourful Kyrgios after he
came down with Covid-19, following a bad case of asthma, just before the Grand
doubt he would even make it to Melbourne Park, but in his first match since
September he showed little effect of the inactivity and illness.
tested positive it wasn’t great news a week out from the Australian Open, I had
some doubts about whether I would actually be playing,” Kyrgios said on
isolated and I was lucky enough to have a tennis court to practise on. I served
really well today, I’m just happy to be here again.”
he was bed-ridden with the virus for “17 hours” a day for the first
couple of days.
obviously concerned that I wouldn’t be physically ready to play, I took it day
by day and I’m just so pumped to be here in my first match of the year, on my
most favourite court in the entire world.”
serve was on song. He won 81 percent of first-serve points, hit 21 aces, 41
winners and broke Broady’s service four times.
played only eight events last year, after taking part in just three in the
previous year, with his world ranking sliding to 115 after being as high as 13
in October 2016.
ended a five-match losing sequence for Kyrgios, whose previous win was against
Kevin Anderson in Atlanta last year.