Big-serving Kyrgios saves match point to beat Kudla

Last year's losing finalist Kyrgios, finally, saw off the plucky American on his sixth match point.

Kyrgios admitted that his chronic hip problems are starting to become a worry.   -  AFP

Nick Kyrgios served 39 aces, including one to save a match point, to power into the second round of the Cincinnati Masters with a dramatic 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) win over Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

Last year's losing finalist Kyrgios, finally, saw off the plucky American on his sixth match point. The Australian will next face Croatian Borna Coric, who beat Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 6-3.

But, Kyrgios admitted that his chronic hip problems are starting to become a worry. “This year has been tough. I started the year very well. Then, obviously, I hurt my elbow. Then, I had an ongoing hip injury,” he said.

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“We have been definitely thinking about the options with my hip. There is only so much you can do before you have to, I guess, get surgery or something like that."

“Right now I'm just managing it. Obviously, I'm feeling my right knee because I'm favouring my left side of my body a little bit."

“I'm just trying to get through it. The physio has been helping me. I've been doing rehab every day. I'm doing everything I can. As long as I can serve, I have a good chance to win still, I guess.”

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The 23-year-old has struggled since Wimbledon, retiring from his second-round match against Cameron Norrie in Atlanta before losing at the first hurdle to Stan Wawrinka in last week's Rogers Cup.

But, the world number 18 dug deep against Kudla after losing a first-set tie-break, saving three break points in game 11 of the second set, before levelling the match on his third set point and winning a thrilling deciding breaker.

“It's always good to get a win at a tournament that you previously did pretty well in. I'm struggling a little bit physically. I'm not 100 per cent. So, I'm just happy to get through,” Kyrgios said.

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“Obviously, I'm still able to serve at a high level, which is half the game. So, I gave myself a chance today. I don't usually feel too many things on a tennis court, but I felt a little bit of adrenaline in the third set, which was good.”

Weekend Toronto finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas ran out of gas in a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Belgian 11th seed David Goffin. Unseeded Milos Raonic advanced past Serb Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-3 at the combined ATP and WTA event, the last major tune-up prior to the US Open on August 27.

Russian Karen Khachanov, who reached the last four in Toronto last week, put out Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.