With temperatures soaring, Nick Kyrgios made sure an injured fan at the Japan Open had plenty of water.
The sixth-seeded Australian advanced to the second round by beating American qualifier Ryan Harrison 7-5 6-2, but the match was suspended for about 10 minutes in the first set after a fan fell on some steps in the stands.
Kyrgios, often criticised for his volatile behaviour, sent some water up to the injured spectator while temperatures rose to 31 degrees at the start of the second set.
He will next face Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, who beat Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-2 6-1.
“He’s a good friend of mine – we get along well. He’s going up in age but he’s learning to adapt,” Kyrgios said of Stepanek. “His level is still high and he can still do damage, especially on a surface like this.”
Kyrgios momentarily lost some feeling in his fingers due to a nerve niggle but still managed to close out the win over Harrison.
He took a medical timeout to have trainers look at his right arm when he complained of some minor nerve pain.
“I felt it serving yesterday in the wet, heavy conditions – the balls are a big heavier. I was never really struggling with it, but I did lose some feeling in the fingers during the match,” he said.
“It turned out to be nothing really serious.”
Feliciano Lopez was the only loser among the seeded players, retiring because of illness when trailing 4-2 in the third set. The eighth-seeded Spaniard won the first set 7-6 (7-5), but Australian qualifier Duckworth took the second 7-6 (7-4).
Duckworth will next face Juan Monaco of Argentina.
Second-seeded Gael Monfils also advanced, defeating Japanese wildcard entry Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-1.
The Frenchman had six aces, and dropped only nine points on serve. Monfils will next play Davis Cup teammate Gilles Simon, who beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 7-5 4-6 6-0.
“Simon’s a tough player for me. He asks you to have a great game plan to play against him,” Monfils said. “In the past, I’ve tried to search for a solution. I’m going to have work on a game plan, and work on something different to defeat him a second time.”
Fifth-seeded David Goffin beat another local wildcard Yoshihito Nishioka to set up a showdown with Czech Jiri Vesely. Goffin won 7-5 6-2, while Vesely defeated Kevin Anderson of South Africa 3-6 6-0 6-4.
Seventh-seeded Ivo Karlovic beat Federico Delbonis 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5).