Nick Kyrgios said it will be awkward to play best mate Thanasi Kokkinakis at the US Open but reckons the two of them will be pure entertainment.
Asked how he felt about taking on such a close friend in round one, Kokkinakis said: “He loves to kind of live in the chaos a bit when it comes to matches.
“He turns it into a bit of a circus around him and he’s just so comfortable with that.
“But he’s got the game, obviously, to back it up. It’s not just that, so it will be awkward.”
Kyrgios meanwhile, who is coming off an impressive run of form having reached the Wimbledon men’s single’s final before claiming the Citi Open final in Washington title, said they’d enjoy a few gags.
“Im gonna go out and have a bit of fun,” he said. “I’m playing one of my best friends so we will go out and give people a show.
“We have a gag every now and then, we will talk about this one day.”
KYRGIOS 2-1 KOKKINAKIS
We know he likes to play fast and that was a really speedy start from Kyrgios, holding comfortably to find his feet early doors. Even pulled off a cheeky underarm serve.
A fun quip between him and the coin toss official before this match started, reminding players that sideline coaching is permitted at this year’s US Open, Kyrgios said: Man, don’t worry, I don’t need a coach.”
THE ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT
Nick Kyrgios is used to the red carpet treatment but the Aussie superstar and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis have been gifted an “unheard of” privilege for their US Open round one clash on Tuesday (AEST).
Opening your tournament on the main court – in this case Arthur Ashe stadium – is an honour usually reserved for the defending champion, homegrown heroes and the world No 1, at least in the early rounds.
Kyrgios on Arthur Ashe is a testament to just how much of a draw card he is, not only in New York, but globally.
“New York is a place that he loves – the atmosphere, the people. He’s such a big show that he’s opening the coverage on day one on Arthur Ashe Arena, with their main night match,” Todd Woodbridge said on Nine’s Today.
“Two Aussies opening up the US Open, that is unheard of.
“What is fascinating about this match is that it’s actually been Thanasi, I think, that has helped Nick get his form back going this season.
“Nick’s form has been sensational this season, as we know. He’s had a good run in the US, having won in Washington.
“You expect Nick to win between these two but it’s going to be a tough match with good mates, because Nick is going to have to control his emotions, and that’s always a challenge, as we know.”
A hasty change of outfit worked wonders for Bianca Andreescu as she powered into the second round of the US Open on Monday.
The 22-year-old Canadian star, winner of the US Open crown in 2019, overcame Harmony Tan 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 to keep alive her dream of a second Grand Slam title.
However the victory was not without drama as a flustered Andreescu scrambled to change her clothing.
The former world number four arrived on court in a navy blue skirt, but with gusts of wind blowing her outfit around, she pleaded with the chair umpire to make a change.
“It’s not my fault, it’s Nike’s fault, this dress is so bad,” Andreescu could be heard complaining. “I need to go. This is so bad.” She quickly returned to the court wearing shorts and a white top and set about navigating her way past Tan, who made headlines in June when she beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon.
Andreescu later explained her change of outfit after securing victory. “It was just bothering me on some forehands. I just felt like it was kind of coming up a bit. Obviously the wind didn’t help,” she said.
She said she had pleaded with the umpire not to dock her a bathroom break — which he agreed to — and said she had not intended to criticise kit manufacturer Nike.
“He was very nice to say it was totally okay,” she said. “I could have definitely used a different choice of wording.
“So I apologize to anyone I disrespected. I love Nike and I hope I can be with them for the rest of my life.”
SIMONA HALEP OUSTED
Former world number one Simona Halep was knocked out of the US Open in the first round on Monday, losing to Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur.
The 124th-ranked Snigur, making her Grand Slam main draw debut, won 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 against the two-time major winner who came into New York having won the prestigious Toronto title.
Snigur, wearing a ribbon in the colors of Ukraine on her shirt, will face Magdalena Frech of Poland or Canada’s Rebecca Marino for a place in the last 32.
She held her nerve on Louis Armstrong Stadium after seeing a 5-1 lead slip away in the final set before taking the tie on a third match point and breaking down in tears
Originally published as US Open 2022: Nick Kyrgios v Thanasi Kokkinakis face off in first round on centre court