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Kyrgios Remains Perfect In 2018, Now For Tsonga

Twelve months ago, on Hisense Arena, Nick Kyrgios lost a two-sets-to-love lead to succumb 10-8 in the fifth set to Andreas Seppi in the second round. On Wednesday, there was to be no repeat of that bitter disappointment at the Australian Open.

Kyrgios overcame Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, on the same stadium court, in a performance typical of the Australian’s great start to the 2018 season, which includes his fourth ATP World Tour crown at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Harrison).

Nick Kyrgios goes around the net post and beats Serbia's Viktor Troicki at the 2018 Australian Open.
The 22-year-old Kyrgios failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set, but came through a big-hitting encounter 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(2) in two hours and 12 minutes.

“I think last year, the year before, I probably would have been probably still out on the court right now [and I] could be losing that match,” said Kyrgios. I feel like my game helped me in the tie-break, [when] I played a pretty good level.

"When he broke back in the third set, I started freaking out a little bit. Obviously, I knew he was confident he could come back from two sets to love. I played a pretty good tie-break to get out of trouble. I know I have to conserve my energy from the start in best-of-five matches."

Kyrgios sets up a third-round test against 2008 finalist and No. 15 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who earlier in the day rallied from a 2-5 deficit in the fifth set to defeat #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
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Tsonga beat Kyrgios in their lone FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting at the 2017 Open 13 Marseille.

“It's going to be fun," said Kyrgios. We played last year in Marseille, he beat me in a three-set battle. [He] was a guy that I looked up to growing up. I've seen him play a lot. I know what he's going to bring. He knows what I'm going to bring.

"When I was 12, I went to all his practice sessions. He made the final in 2008. I think I was 12. I went to all his practice sessions with a new ball. He signed it every day. I don't know if he remembers."

Kyrgios, the No. 17 seed, overcame nerves at the end when he failed to convert one match point at 5-4, with Troicki serving at 30/40 in the third set. Subsequently broken in the next game, Kyrgios managed to re-group in the tie-break to win six of the first seven points.

At 1/4 in the tie-break, Troicki mis-hit a return which struck chair umpire James Keothavong in the head. Drawing a smile from Keothavong, the umpire, much to the delight of the capacity crowd, announced, "It's not my day, is it?"

Kyrgios finished with a backhand, one of 38 winners – including 17 aces – to remain unbeaten this year (6-0 record). Troicki had been attempting to record his 50th match win at a Grand Slam championship.


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