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Watch Gael Monfils keep the most unlikely of points alive to claim match point with a hot shot winner against Steve Johnson in Montreal on Monday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Kyrgios Races In Return To Winning Column

#NextGenATP Donaldson upsets Frenchman

Aussie Nick Kyrgios picked up his first win in more than two months on Monday, starting his Coupe Rogers in Montreal with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Serbian Viktor Troicki.

The 16th seed has struggled with hip and right shoulder injuries since 30 May, when he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round at Roland Garros. He retired from his past three opening matches at the Aegon Championships in London, Wimbledon and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. last week.

But the 22 year old left little to doubt against Troicki in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. He won 88 per cent of his first-serve points (21/24) and never faced a break point in the 50-minute rout.

“I've been struggling the last couple months with a bunch of things,” Kyrgios said. “I just have to keep doing the right things. I'm getting a lot of treatment, trying to do my rehab every day. I'm doing everything I can.”

The right-hander also feasted on the Serbian's second serve, winning almost 70 per cent (16/24) of his second-serve return points. Kyrgios will next meet either Italian Paolo Lorenzi or #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe.

“Tiafoe is a great player. He's a young guy, has a huge future ahead of him. He's got a great game. I'm really good friends with him as well. It would be awesome to play him... Obviously Lorenzi is a veteran, knows how to win tennis matches, competes for every point, is a great competitor. He doesn't give up in anything. So it's going to be a tough match either way. I'm just happy to get the win today.”

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#NextGenATP American Jared Donaldson hit 10 aces in an upset win against 13th seed Lucas Pouille, 7-6(5), 7-6(8). The Frenchman saved four match points in the second set, including one at 4-5, 30/40 and three more in the second-set tie-break, 4/6, 5/6, 6/7. But the 20-year-old Donaldson came through on his fifth match point when Pouille double faulted.

“I think I played really well. My serve was great, so that really helped me to play first-strike tennis. Both tie-breaks were really competitive. The first one I came back on him a little bit, and the second one was just nip and tuck. Everything was so close,” Donaldson said. “I’m just happy I was able to get through it in two sets. I feel like I focused really well.”

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Donaldson reached the third round at the Citi Open last week and is looking to continue his recent success in Canada. Last year, the right-hander qualified and made the third round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Toronto before falling to home favourite Milos Raonic.

“I think I’m playing really well... It’s just about me getting more experience at this level, keep improving fitness off the court. On the court as well, making sure that I’m still serving well, I’m still playing aggressive, I have good movement. So I feel if I do that I’m going to keep improving and keep getting good results like today,” Donaldson said.

The World No. 66 is currently in seventh place in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, to be held 7-11 November. The eighth player will be determined by wild card.

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“I feel like there’s a lot of great [#NextGenATP] players playing right now. I’m just honoured to be one of them,” he said. “It’d be nice to make it and compete with those great guys. They all play so well, and I feel lucky to be a part of it and hopefully I can qualify for it.” 

For Pouille, it's his second consecutive opening loss. The Frenchman fell to #NextGenATP American Tommy Paul last week at the Citi Open. Donaldson will next meet Frenchman Benoit Paire, who beat Donald Young 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

In other action, Pouille's countryman Gael Monfils came from a set down to beat Steve Johnson of the U.S. 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1. Monfils hit 11 aces and broke Johnson three times in the one-hour and 38-minute victory. He will next play fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

“At 4-3 in the second set, at that stage, I started putting the ball in the court. I was able to move better. I was able to make it more difficult for him. From then on, I was able to get some more opportunities and I was able to make him have some doubts,” Monfils said.

German Mischa Zverev also advanced in three sets, beating Slovakian qualifier Norbert Gombos 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3. Zverev will next face seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov.

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