Aussie hopes crumble in Malaysian tennis

Australian hopes have hit the wall at the Malaysian Open with three of four players eliminated in their opening matches, including rising star Nick Kyrgios whose singles’ season is now over.

佛山桑拿

Kyrgios, the Wimbledon quarter-finalist and eighth seed in Malaysia, was beaten in straight sets by compatriot Marinko Matosevic – who will be the only Australian in the second round after a brutal Tuesday which also involved losses for Bernard Tomic and youngster Omar Jasika in his first ATP match.

Before the 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) loss, Kyrgios admitted that he was burned out and would end his season come what may this week in the home nation of his mother.

The “Kampung Kid” was expected to carry much of the tournament weight along with US Open finalist Kei Nishikori after the late withdrawal of Canadian No.6 six Milos Raonic.

But Kyrgios, lone teenager in the top 100 rankings, came and went quickly in his first time as a seeded player.

“I’m very disappointed with the way I played today,” Kyrgios, who saved five break points against Matosevic, said.

“Marinko played well and all credit to him. I’m looking forward to the doubles next.”

The 19-year-old made his name at Wimbledon where he stunned Rafael Nadal in the fourth round – the last match played by the Spaniard this season.

He reached the US Open third round, losing to Tommy Robredo, and also helped his nation back into the World Group of Davis Cup for next season after improving more than 130 ranking spots in 2014.

Tomic, ranked 65th to the 51 of Kyrgios, lost in his first match since going out in the US Open second round in late August.

He was defeated by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9-7); even 13 aces were not enough for Tomic in the loss lasting just under two hours.

Rajeev Ram brought US Open junior winner Jasika back down to earth with a 4-6 7-5 6-3 comeback, with the 30-year-old winner firing a dozen aces and breaking five times against his 17-year-old opponent.

The win puts Ram into the line of fire as Nishikori opens play on Wednesday.

Spanish seventh seed Pablo Andujar advanced on schedule with a defeat of Gregorie Burquier of France 6-2, 6-4 while Go Soeda stopped Kento Takeuchi 6-2 6-1 in an all-Japanese battle in the first round.

Philipp Petzschner, whose ranking has sunk to 524 after knee injuries, won his first match in more than six months at the ATP level, beating fellow qualifier James Ward of Britain 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5).

But the German winner faces an immediate test when he takes on second seed Ernests Gulbis, a French Open semi-finalist, in the second round.

Finn Jarkko Nieminen made a winning Malaysian debut as he reached the second round over Austrian Philipp Oswald 6-1 6-2.

Posted by at 26/06/2019
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