#sports activities Blow for Nick Kyrgios as he gets a shocking first-round opponent in the US Open
Nick Kyrgios has been handed a heart-pulling first-round encounter at the US Open, drawn in opposition to his big-hitting pal Thanasi Kokkinakis in an all-Australian blockbuster.
And in a Flushing Meadows males’s subject with out Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal will open his bid for a twenty third grand slam title in opposition to Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata when the predominant draw kicks off subsequent week.
The two nice mates Kyrgios and Kokkinakis – the ‘Special Ks’ once they play collectively as a doubles crew – have been pitted in opposition to one another in a powerful quarter, which additionally options Russia’s No.1 seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev.
Nick Kyrgios performs a forehand at the Western & Southern Open earlier this yr.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and good good friend Nick Kyrgios pose with the trophy after profitable the doubles last of the Atlanta Open. The two will meet in the first spherical of the US Open.
The Australian Open-winning pair, who will probably be even be searching for a third title of the yr collectively in the males’s doubles, have by no means performed in opposition to every on the predominant tour, although Kyrgios did win their two lower-level encounters once they had been up-and-coming teenagers.
When Kyrgios was notified of the draw he posted a photograph of himself and Kokkinakis with the message, “My brother let’s give ’em a good show.”
The No.23 seed Kyrgios, certainly one of the favourites for the title after his outlandish run to the Wimbledon last and subsequent victory in Washington, has a minefield draw.
If he beats Kokkinakis, he’ll seemingly play harmful French leftie Ugo Humbert in the second spherical and battle-hardened Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, the No.16 seed in the third, earlier than a attainable match-up with Medvedev.
Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia returns a shot to Jannik Sinner of Italy throughout the Western & Southern Open.
But the entire males’s subject will really feel their possibilities have been lifted by the absence of Djokovic, who introduced on social media lower than two hours earlier than the behind-closed-doors draw that he would not be coming to New York.
US guidelines would not permit the Serb, who’s nonetheless unvaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, to enter the nation to bid for a fourth title, opening up a massive alternative for Nadal to race additional forward in their ‘GOAT’ race.
So Hijikata, the 21-year-old prospect from Sydney who’s been handed a wildcard as a part of US tennis’s reciprocal association with their Aussie counterparts, has a dream – or probably nightmarish – encounter with No.2 seed and four-time champion Nadal.
Alex de Minaur, the Australian No.1 and No.18 seed, will open in opposition to Serbian Filip Krajinovic.
Nick Kyrgios is certainly one of the favourites to win the US Open after his outlandish run to the Wimbledon last and subsequent victory in Washington.
And there’s one other all-Australian conflict first up with James Duckworth assembly his fellow Sydneysider Chris O’Connell, whereas the in-form Jason Kubler will purpose to proceed his breakthrough yr by beating Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.
In the girls’s draw, all eyes had been on 40-year-old Serena Williams’ first opponent, at what is anticipated to be the final event of her profession.
She’ll face Montenegro’s world No.80 Danka Kovinic, with a potential second-round encounter in opposition to No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia.
Defending champion Emma Raducanu, whose victory as a qualifier final yr was dubbed the Fairytale of New York, has a powerful opener in opposition to famend giant-killer Alize Cornet, who knocked out No.1 seed Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon.
Australia’s in-form No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic will face the Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova in her first match, and, if she bought previous a seemingly second-round opponent Martina Trevisan, may probably meet Williams in the last-32.
The Aussie No.2 Daria Saville will tackle Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse in her opening match, whereas Jaimee Fourlis, additionally handed a wildcard, will play a qualifier but to be determined.
Nick Kyrgios pictured on trip with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi
AUSTRALIAN PLAYERS’ FIRST-ROUND DRAW AT THE US OPEN
(Number denotes seeding)
Nick Kyrgios (23) v Thanasi Kokkinakis
Alex de Minaur (18) v Filip Krajinovic (SRB)
Jordan Thompson v Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
John Millman v Emilio Nava (USA)
James Duckworth v Chris O’Connell
Jason Kubler v Mikael Ymer (SWE)
Alexei Popyrin v Chun-hsin Tseng (TWN)
Rinky Hijikata (wildcard) v Rafael Nadal (2) (ESP)
Ajla Tomljanovic v Karolina Muchova (CZE)
Jaimee Fourlis (wildcard) v Qualifier
Daria Saville v Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROM)