Nick Kyrgios has mixed the good, the bad and the nothing overly ugly in cruising into the second round of the Australian Open.
Australia’s 29th seed was hugely impressive in routing Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2 7-5 6-2 in just one hour and 31 minutes at Hisense Arena on Monday night.
The explosive youngster blitzed the Spaniard with a combination of awesome firepower, stunning precision and deft touch to confirm his status as one of the chief title threats to dominant defending champion Novak Djokovic.
A quarter-finalist last year, Kyrgios barely dropped a point on serve in the opening set, drawing high praise from former world No.1 Jim Courier, who hailed the 20-year-old’s second delivery as possibly the best in the game.
His every move scrutinised following a controversy-laced 2015, Kyrgios’s only slip-ups came in the space of five minutes early in the second set.
He dropped serve from 30-love up in the third game after attempting a flashy leaping forehand and then dropped the F-bomb to draw an audible obscenity from the chair umpire after missing a break-back chance in the ensuing game.
Kyrgios pulled himself back together to draw level and then gain a second, decisive break to snatch the second set to take a stranglehold on the match.
“I think if he keeps his head, he can make a good run here … the sky’s the limit,” injured countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis told Channel Seven while watching from his good mate’s courtside box.
In addition to belting Cerreno Busta, Kyrgios at one point belted out a few lines of Katie Perry during a changeover.
Kokkinakis said Kyrgios the entertainer was “all part of the package”.
“It makes him relaxed,” he said.
Kyrgios chalked up a total of 16 aces and 37 winners and raced through the third set to close out the match with two more service breaks.
“I was actually very nervous coming out here,” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously I haven’t played a real match (this year before this). I played the Hopman Cup and had a great week there.
“Coming out here with the memories I have from last year, it was really special to get the win on my favourite court in the world.
“It was really special to come out and play in front of you fans again and get the win.”