Bedene plots Kyrgios’s US Open downfall

Aljaz Bedene is happy to let Nick Kyrgios beat himself when they clash in the first round of the US Open.

Undoubtedly one of the game’s most exciting young talents, Kyrgios is also known for his on-court antics and tempestuous personality.

The 21-year-old smashed three racquets in a row during a defeat in Cincinnati this month and after losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon admitted to preparing for the match by playing video games.

On court, Kyrgios is a box of tricks, often combining moments of genius with inexplicable lapses of concentration, which in part explains why he is yet to fulfil his brilliant potential.

Bedene, ranked 77th in the world, shares the same agent as Kyrgios but the comparisons end there, with his cool exterior reflecting a game based on consistency and persistence.

The Slovenian-born British No.3 has never gone past the second round at Flushing Meadows but believes he can capitalise if Kyrgios begins to waver in their match on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).

“The best players always take advantage,” Bedene said.

“You have to stay focused and you know those games and those points will come. You just have to grab them.

“It’s not easy because it gets quite entertaining. It’s funny. It gets interesting, as a player you want to enjoy the match. All those different emotions going through and then a player is playing tricks.

“It’s not easy to stay focused but you have to try to play the best you can.

“Either he can play great tennis or he can go down. He is his biggest enemy.”

Kyrgios is among six Australian in action on a bumper day two at Flushing Meadows.

The Australian No.1 plays the last match on the old Grandstand Court, where Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur and Bernard Tomic all precede him in consecutive matches.

Gavrilova faces 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova, Stosur, the women’s 16th seed, opens her quest for a second title in New York against Italian Camila Giorgi and Tomic plays Damir Dzumhur.

Seeded 17th, Tomic could run into Kyrgios in the third round but is firmly focused on the same first-round opponent who took him to four sets last year.

“This is a match for me,” Tomic said.

“He’s very low, very small and he understands my tennis. So for me this is a difficult match.

“People see this on paper and he’s 90 in the world, I’m top 20. But it’s not like this.

“He had a chance to push me to five last year, so I have to respect this.”

John Millman, with a tough opener against eighth seed Dominic Thiem, and grand slam debutant Ellen Perez, who meets Zhang Shaui, are also in action.


Men’s singles, first round

14-Nick Kyrgios v Aljaz Bedene (GBR)

17-Bernard Tomic v Damir Dzumhur (BIH)

John Millman v 8-Dominic Thiem (AUT)

Women’s singles, first round

16-Samantha Stosur v Camila Giorgi (ITA)

Daria Gavrilova v Lucie Safarova (CZE)

Ellen Perez v Zhang Shaui (CHN)

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