Nick Kyrgios had little trouble with his first round opponent in the 2018 Australian Open.
Kyrgios sent Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva off in straight sets. Kyrgios played the sort of match that would be expected of a high-ranked player against one much further down. Silva ascended as high as 63 in the ATP singles rankings last year, but at the age of 33, he would have to be considered a journeyman, as only a few make it to that age and still play on.
Silva has never made it beyond the second round of a Grand Slam tournament, so he was good warm-up material for Kyrgios, who won easily by the score of 6 – 1, 6 – 2, 6 – 4.
Kyrgios moves on the play another old campaigner, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, in the second round. Troicki has won the ATPInternational Sydney in 2015 and 2016, so he apparently likes to play in Australia. He made it as high as number 12 in the ATP rankings in 2011, but he has since gone down to number 65.
This match will not be a guaranteed walkover for Kyrgios, however, as Troicki has gone into the third and fourth rounds of Grand Slam tournaments on new fewer than 12 times. He is known for serving rockets that can come in as fast as 240 km/h.
Over on the women’s side, Sam Stosur was sent home by Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. Stosur took the first set by the score of 6 – 4, but Puig came back to take the second 7 – 6 (8 – 6) and from that point, wore down her older competitor and took the deciding set 6 – 4.
Ash Barty disposed of Aryna Sabalenka, and the good news regarding that match was that Barty survived losing the first set 6 – 7, to win the second and third by identical 6 – 4 scores. Aussie tennis fans will be relieved to know that the decibel level in Rod Laver Arena will descend to tolerable levels, as the young Belarussian player screams at the top of her lungs on every shot.
Barty turned to the box at one stage, saying, “She’s so loud.”
Later, Barty said of Sabalenka, “I knew it was coming but it was a bit louder than I thought.”
Barty instantly receives the “2018 Understatement of the Year Award.”