LONDON (Reuters) - Nick Kyrgios was back causing “uproar” at Wimbledon on Tuesday as he cranked down 42 aces in an impressive 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-3 first-round win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin on Tuesday.
At least on Tuesday, it was for the right reasons.
So often making headlines for the wrong reasons, the 23-year-old Australian maverick offered more evidence that he can finally let his undisputed talent do the talking.
“I feel like I’m one of the guys that can cause a bit of an uproar at this event. We’ll see how it goes,” 15th seed Kyrgios, who will face Dutchman Robin Haase next, said.
He saved two set points in the first set and was briefly rattled when 92nd-ranked Istomin grabbed the third on a tiebreak on Court 12.
Kyrgios railed against his entourage and kept up a regular dialogue with the umpire and anyone who would listen but remained focused enough to break decisively in the eighth game of the fourth set before completing victory with another ace.
It was a solid start for Kyrgios and he will face Haase in confident mood.
Win that and he could even come up against fellow Australian Bernard Tomic.
“If he puts his mind to it, he can do some damage here, for sure. He looks comfortable,” Kyrgios said.
So too does Kyrgios who was in impressive form leading into the championships with strong runs in Stuttgart, where he pushed Roger Federer hard, and at Queen’s Club where he served almost 100 aces in four matches before losing in the semi-finals to eventual champion Marin Cilic.
“I’m just in a lot better place than I was last year,” said Kyrgios, who was roundly criticized 12 months ago after quitting while trailing France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert by two sets in his first round match.
“I came into Wimbledon last year injured, pretty bad mental state. I was out of the game for two and a half months. So coming back, I’ve been excited.
“I’ve been winning a lot of matches. I’m in kind of happy place. I feel like I’m playing well.”
Kyrgios, often criticized for his bad-boy image, even showed his gentle side after accidentally hitting a ball girl with a serve.
“It was tough. Originally when I heard the sound, I thought it hit the scoreboard. Then I realized it was her arm. It was tough. She started crying. She took it like a champ, though.
“I would have been crying, for sure.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar