Nick Kyrgios let his racquet do the talking to storm into the second round of the US Open, a day after pointing out tennis players are allowed to smoke marijuana on tour in a Q&A with his Twitter followers.
Kyrgios overcame a troublesome hip and an early confrontation with the chair umpire to blast past Britain’s Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in less than two hours on Tuesday night.
The 14th seed’s routine win came after officials said he would not be sanctioned for his latest headline-grabbing moment on the eve of the season’s final grand slam event. Kyrgios offered up a simple “yep” when asked by one of his Twitter followers: “are you allowed to smoke weed on tour?”
And he is correct, with a Wada spokesman confirming that while marijuana “is a prohibited substance for in-competition testing, it has never been prohibited out-of-competition”. In effect, that means players are OK to smoke marijuana while not competing at tournaments.
During the same snap, two-minute Q&A, Kyrgios also teased that he would walk away from tennis – at just 21 – if he won the US Open on Sunday week. “If I won the US open now u [sic] would never see me again,” he replied to a fan ahead of his opener against British No3 Bedene.
After sitting out the Rio Olympics following his running battle with Australia’s chef de mission Kitty Chiller, Kyrgios also seemed to have a laugh at the Australian team boss.
Asked who inspired him the most over the Olympics, he replied: “kitty”. But, as his wont, the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist backed up his pre-tournament banter with an impressive opening to his campaign.
Kyrgios fired down 14 aces and thumped 43 winners in booking a second-round date on Thursday with Argentine Horacio Zeballos.
His victory wasn’t completely incident-free, though, with Kyrgios receiving a code violation in the first game of the match for aggressively hitting a ball, after a rally that the umpire deemed came dangerously close to a linesman.
“You’re giving me a code violation for hitting the ball too hard. I’ve heard it all now,” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios’ match with Bedene was the fourth of the day on the old Grandstand court – all of which featured Australians.
Sam Stosur joined Kyrgios in victory after she won through to the second round for an eighth time at Flushing Meadows following a tough workout against Camila Giorgi.
Australia’s 2011 champion overcame three service breaks and some relentless pressure to emerge with a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 victory over the free-hitting Italian. Stosur, the 16th seed this year, next plays Zhang Shuai, who crushed Australian wildcard Ellen Perez 6-1, 6-1 in her opening match.
Daria Gavrilova’s campaign has ended in tears with a shattering straight-sets first-round loss to Lucie Safarova. The Australian No2 was unable to hide her disappointment after falling 6-4, 6-4 to the 2015 French Open finalist.
And Bernard Tomic also crashed out, losing 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-0) to Bosnia’s Damir Džumhur while also making headlines for a lewd remark he made to a fan in the stands.
Rounding off a busy day for Australians in New York, in-form John Millman fell short of pulling off the first big surprise of the tournament. Millman led Dominic Thiem two sets to one before succumbing 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to the eighth-seeded Austrian.
It was a tough draw for Millman, who regained his place in the world’s top 70 on Monday following his charge to a career-first ATP semi-final last week in Winston-Salem.
Original Article via TheGuardian