WASHINGTON — Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios ended a three-year title drought by lifting the trophy at the site of his last triumph and salvaging the only break point he faced en route to a 6-4 at last Sunday’s Citi Open . 6-3 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka.
Kyrgios’ seventh career tour-level championship took place where his sixth took place in 2019 – on the hard courts of the US Open Tuneup in the American capital.
As usual when Kyrgios is in his game, serve set the tone for the 27-year-old Australian, hitting 12 aces and winning 22 of 25 first-serve points. He won all nine of his service games against Nishioka, making him 64 to 64 in the tournament and ending the week by saving all of his opponent’s 10 break points. The only one Kyrgios had to deal with on Sunday came 3-2 in the first set, and Kyrgios dismissed it by a volley winner.
“It’s incredible,” said Kyrgios in his on-pitch interview after the game. “It’s emotional for me to be back here and to win another title.”
At the other end, Kyrgios managed Japan’s Nishioka, ranked 96th, who eliminated top seed Andrey Rublev three times in the semifinals – in the opening game of each set and again in the final game of the game.
It’s quite an unusual consistency for Kyrgios, who ran to his maiden Grand Slam final at the All England Club, where he lost to Novak Djokovic last month. Kyrgios received no ranking points for that performance – no one was awarded points at Wimbledon – but the Washington title will take him from 63rd to 37th, within shouting distance of a possible seeding at the US Open.
The game begins August 29 at Flushing Meadows. That’s less than a week after a court hearing was scheduled in Australia on a joint assault charge against Kyrgios, whose former girlfriend claimed he grabbed her.
Kyrgios’ victory was shown on Tennis Channel, which moved the women’s final from its main channel and instead aired Pickleball – due to what tournament chairman Mark Ein described as a prior commitment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/34366712/emotional-nick-kyrgios-ends-three-year-title-drought-tops-yoshihito-nishioka-citi-open ‘Emotional’ Nick Kyrgios ends three-year title drought, tops Yoshihito Nishioka at Citi Open