Australian Open 2018: Kyrgios powers past Troicki to set up Tsonga clash

Australian Open 2018: Kyrgios powers past Troicki to set up Tsonga clash

The Australian number one only lost his serve once as he reached the third round with a straight-sets victory.

Joe Nicholson

Home favourite Nick Kyrgios powered past Victor Troicki to reach the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets victory.

Kyrgios served impeccably throughout the 2 hours-and-12-minute contest on Hisense Arena and was only broken once when serving for the match.

The Aussie, 22, recovered from his mini blip, though, to record a 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory and set up a mouth-watering third-round encounter with Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

Looking further ahead, Kyrgios could meet third seed Grigor Dimitrov in round four after coming through a deciding set with qualifier MacKenzie McDonald, but on this evidence the Australian will be more than a match for anyone in the men’s singles draw, not just the Bulgarian third seed.


First serve firing 

Kyrgios had won the pair’s only previous meeting at the end of last year when he dismissed Troicki for the loss of just three games at the Rogers Cup in Canada.

The Serb put up more of a fight in the opening set but couldn’t make in-roads into Kyrgios’ service games.

In the opening set, the Aussie didn’t lose a point when he landed his first delivery, which found its mark 66 per cent of the time

Troicki, a former world number 12, dug his heals in, saving two break points before the score reached 5-5.

But, in the next game, the Serb coughed up two double faults back-to-back, before losing his serve and subsequently the set.

Troicki’s lull seeped into the second, and he was broken again for 0-1 when he overcooked a mid-court forehand.


Kyrgios keeps his cool

Kyrgios, whose temperament has been questioned in the past, could have lost his focus when a fan called out in the middle of a point, but - after a brief gripe at umpire James Keothavong - he nonchalantly held serve from 0-30 for 3-1.

A couple of games later, Kyrgios wrapped up a two-set lead with another 0-service game.

The match could have run away from Troicki in the third but after saving a break point with well-struck backhand, the Serb found himself 30-40 up in the following game.


Too little too late from Troicki

Remarkably, it was Troicki’s first break point of the match, however he couldn’t convert when Kyrgios swatted away a backhand winner.

Kyrgios landed a significant blow when he broke his opponent again for 2-1, after Troicki dumped another forehand into the net.

From there, it looked like the Aussie would close out the match with ease but, after saving a match point with a drop shot at 5-3, Troicki broke Kyrgios for the first time in the next game.

The set went to a tie break, which Kyrgios dominated, winning it 7-2, finishing with a crushing cross-court backhand.

Tsonga is likely to pose a greater threat to the home favourite, but this newly-heralded cool streak could serve Kyrgios well as he meets the Frenchman on Friday.