Quick Nick: Kyrgios Cruises In 56-Minute Atlanta Opener
Nick Kyrgios looked to be in top form ahead of Wimbledon, before losing against Kei Nishikori in the third round. But in his first match since, the Australian got right back on track.
Second seed Kyrgios had few issues in dismissing American qualifier Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-2 in 56 minutes on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals at the BB&T Atlanta Open. In his only previous appearance in Atlanta, Kyrgios won his second of four ATP World Tour titles, defeating top seed and home favourite John Isner in the final.
"I always feel comfortable playing here," Kyrgios said. "Obviously had a fair bit of success here. I just feel comfortable. The court suits my game-style. I can serve well, I can make a couple of returns and play aggressively."
The 23-year-old has now reached the last eight in four of his five most recent events. He is pursuing his second trophy of the 2018 campaign, after triumphing at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp in the first week of the year to claim his first title in Australia.
Kyrgios hit 15 aces in front of a packed crowd on Stadium Court in Georgia, winning 83 per cent of his service points. The Canberra-native was broken to start the second set with a couple of sloppy unforced errors, but had no issues from there on out, constantly stepping into his returns to put Rubin on the back foot.
"It's perfect serving conditions on that court," Kyrgios said. "If you're playing well and you're seeing the ball well and you're serving well, it's tough to lose here."
Kyrgios will next face World No. 73 Cameron Norrie. The Brit, who was No. 275 in the ATP Rankings this time last year, beat sixth seed Jeremy Chardy 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour, 45 minutes.
Norrie entered the 2018 campaign with two tour-level match wins. But the left-handed 22-year-old now has 10 this season, and will try to reach his second ATP World Tour semi-final against Kyrgios.
"He's always been a tough competitor," Kyrgios said. "It's good to see him coming through and having some great results. He's a tricky player, he's a lefty, great backhand. Lefties are always tough on a surface like this. I'm going to go out there, nothing's going to change on my end. I'm going to serve big, play big and we'll see how it goes."
Did You Know?
Kyrgios and Norrie will open their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry on Friday. Their most recent meeting was in the 2013 Australian Open Boys' Singles event; Kyrgios lifted the trophy without dropping a set.