Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kyrgios cruises into fourth round of Miami Open

Kyrgios cruises into fourth round of Miami Open

Nick Kyrgios of Australia argues with the chair umpire during his match with Fabio Fognini of Italy at the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Monday. AFP
Nick Kyrgios of Australia argues with the chair umpire during his match with Fabio Fognini of Italy at the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Monday. AFP

Kyrgios cruises into fourth round of Miami Open

Nick Kyrgios moved into the fourth round of the Miami Open despite admitting he’s lacking the match fitness to properly compete for the title.

Kyrgios arrived in south Florida having not played for two months thanks to a troublesome elbow injury which forced him to withdraw from tournaments in Rotterdam, Delray Beach, Acapulco and Indian Wells in recent weeks.

His 6-3, 6-3 victory here Monday against the Italian world No18 Fabio Fognini certainly suggested a return to peak form is attainable.

The Australian took just 29 minutes to win the first set and although Fognini battled hard in the second, it wasn’t enough to stop the 22 year-old who was powerfully crashing the ball around the court from all angles.

Yet afterwards Kyrgios, who will face either David Ferrer or Alexander Zverev for a place in the final eight, insisted his injury problems are refusing to go away.

“I came here not expecting too much,” he said. “I have been having back spasms and am nowhere close to 100 percent.

“So winning matches like this are a great confidence boost for me. I am only at 70 percent so I am just trying to get through and take it very slowly.

“I haven’t been able to train hard. I am just slowly building myself up.”

‘Tick professionalism boxes’

Kyrgios was serving and hitting powerfully, a sure sign that the elbow problem which has hampered him so far in 2018 seems to be on the mend.

“I am trying to keep everything lose, the elbow was feeling better a couple of weeks ago.

“I was feeling good and then I started having back spasms. I just have to keep my body moving and feel warm and loose.”

With the likes of Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka still out with injuries and Novak Djokovic desperately trying to return from a persistent elbow problem, Kyrgios isn’t alone when it comes to playing through the pain barrier.

“I have had a couple of niggling injuries during my career though no surgery yet touch wood,” he added.

“I am working hard in the gym but I still need to tick some boxes when it comes to professionalism.”

Kyrgios began the match confidently, getting an early break to storm to a 3-0 lead.

Fognini was cutting a frustrated figure in the afternoon sun, his inability to make inroads into the rapid fire Kyrgios’s serve causing the 30-year old to angrily lay bare his frustrations on more than one occasion.

The Australian, however, was far more consistent and when he broke again early in the second set, the writing was very much on the wall for an opponent who simply didn’t have any answers.

His serve was clocked at an impressive 137mph but Kyrgios, who never seems too far away from a meltdown, had to dig deep in an attempt to close out the match.

‘The saltiest dude’

Fognini, however, was unable to pull himself back into the match and another break of serve put the seal on a good afternoon’s work for Kyrgios, who was boosted by having Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward in his box in Key Biscayne.

“It’s been great to have him around,” says Kyrgios, who is a huge NBA fan and follows the Celtics.

Fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis failed to build on his win over Roger Federer in the previous round, falling 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, while Canadian Denis Shapovalov outlasted American Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Verdasco’s win was a fiery affair with the Spaniard accusing Kokkinakis’ father of talking between points in the deciding set.

Verdasco also called out Kyrgios, who before the match suggested on Twitter that the Verdasco is “the saltiest dude” because of his past experience playing Australians.

“When you have the courage to put a tweet insulting another player, you need to have the same to don’t delete it,” countered Verdasco.

MOST VIEWED

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine