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ATP Tennis News – Murray exits Washington, D.C. in first round, former champ Kyrgios rolls to opening win

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios celebrates. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

Both Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray went into the Citi Open unseeded, thus relegated to playing first-round matches. That proved to be just fine for Kyrgios, but it marked an immediate end of the road for Murray.

Kyrgios booked his spot in the second round with a 6-3, 6-2 rout of Marcos Giron on Tuesday evening. The recent Wimbledon runner-up fired 12 aces and saved the only break point he faced.

“I came out a bit slow; obviously (it’s) very different conditions to Wimbledon,” said Kyrgios, who captured the Washington, D.C. title in 2019. “I think it was just a bit of nerves, as well. I won the tournament in 2019. (I was motivated) seeing my name up on the stadium and then knowing I didn’t play well here at all last year.

“I’m just so happy to be here with my team, the love and support from the crowd. I’m just really happy to be out here playing some good tennis again.”

Conditions at least would have been similar to Atlanta, where Kyrgios played last week. However, he withdrew from singles and only played doubles–rolling to the title with fellow Aussie and Australian Open doubles-winning partner Thanasi Kokkinakis. The world No. 63 has now won four total matches in the span of three days across two tournaments.

Andy Murray of Great Britain in action, 11 March 2022. EPA-EFE/JOHN G MABANGLO

As for Murray, he will be going into Montreal next week looking for his first victory since the grass-court swing. The 35-year-old bowed out right away on Monday with a 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-1 loss to Mikael Ymer.

“It was disappointing, obviously,” Murray lamented. “I thought there was some good tennis in the first set. After that both of us were struggling a bit physically. The level of the tennis was not great. Obviously (I) had chances in the first set to close that out. I had set point at 6-5, then three in the tiebreaker and didn’t get it.

“I think he seemed like maybe he was cramping a little bit in the second set but recovered absolutely fine after the break at the end of the (second) set. (We) went off to change and cool off a little bit, and he recovered well for the third whereas I didn’t really. Yeah, (it’s) just frustrating. Actually in Newport I cramped right at the end of one of my matches there; really hot and humid. Usually I quite enjoy playing in those conditions.

“(I have) struggled a little bit the past two tournaments with that. I need to have a little look at that with my team and maybe see why that is (and) make a few changes.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.