It’s good to be bad

Con­tro­ver­sial Aussie Kyr­gios vic­to­ri­ous over Ser­bian Troicki Cloudy

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - Ph­ickey@post­media.com @zababes1

MON­TREAL — Aussie bad boy Nick Kyr­gios opened cen­tre-court action at the Rogers Cup Mon­day, beat­ing Ser­bian Vik­tor Troicki 6-1, 6-2 in a match that lasted only 51 min­utes.

Both play­ers have strug­gled with in­juries re­cently. Hip and shoul­der prob­lems forced Kyr­gios to re­tire from his match against Ten­nys Sand­gren last week at the Citi Open in Washington, while Troicki’s last match was at Wim­ble­don where he re­tired with back prob­lems in his first-round match against Flo­rian Mayer.

Kyr­gios, who con­tin­ues to un­dergo treat­ment here, said nei­ther player pro­duced his best ten­nis.

“I didn’t feel like I hit the ball ex­tremely well,” said the 22-year-old Kyr­gios. “I didn’t serve great. I thought I served OK. But he played far from his best ten­nis as well. I’ve seen him play un­be­liev­able ten­nis. We all have. He’s been strug­gling phys­i­cally, as well. I think he re­tired at Wim­ble­don. We’re kind of in the same boat. I wish all the best for him. He’s a great guy (and) we’re good friends.”

While Kyr­gios is one of the most tal­ented young play­ers on the tour, he has been the sub­ject of con­tro­versy through­out his ca­reer. On sev­eral oc­ca­sions, he has been fined for tank­ing matches and his off-court man­ners have even at­tracted crit­i­cism from the orig­i­nal su­per­brat John McEn­roe.

Kyr­gios said he and coun­try­man Bernard Tomic are of­ten un­fairly crit­i­cized.

“I guess, I mean, we all make mis­takes,” said Kyr­gios.

“Tomic is strug­gling at the mo­ment. He doesn’t re­ally know what he wants to do. I re­spect that. He de­serves ev­ery right to be happy and try and find what makes him happy. If that’s not ten­nis at the mo­ment, then so be it.

“I mean, we’re not bad hu­mans,” Kyr­gios added. “We don’t, I don’t know, deal drugs. We don’t do any­thing. We have some bad is­sues on the court some­times. It’s just us com­pet­ing. I mean, he’s not a bad Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios hits a re­turn against Vik­tor Troicki in Rogers Cup men’s action in Mon­treal yes­ter­day. per­son. The me­dia can write what they want. But, you know, at the end of the day, to be fair, to be hon­est, me and Bernard have been the best two play­ers from Aus­tralia for the last five years, so that’s the facts. We’ve been in the top 20. We’ve beaten top play­ers, you know.”

Crowd favourite Gaël Mon­fils was spraying balls all over cen­tre court in the first set of his match against Amer­i­can Steve John­son, but he set­tled down to win 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1.

“I was not con­fi­dent, I had trou­ble mov­ing,” Mon­fils said of his slow start. “When I came here, I felt lit­tle pains here and there. It took me a long time in the match to start feel­ing bet­ter and more fluid. At 4-3 in the sec­ond set. I started putting the ball in the court. I was able to move bet­ter. I was able to make it more dif­fi­cult for him. From then on, I was able to get some more op­por­tu­ni­ties and I was able to make ON TV:

SN, SN1, 11 a.m., 6:30 p.m.

him have some doubts.”

Amer­i­can Jared Don­ald­son pulled off the first up­set of the tour­na­ment when he won a pair of tiebreak­ers against 13th-seeded Lu­cas Pouille of France.

Mis­cha Zverev, the older brother of fourth-seeded Sascha Zverev, squeezed into the sec­ond round with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over qual­i­fier Nor­bert Gom­bos of Slo­vakia.

Benoit Paire of France ad­vanced with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Amer­i­can Don­ald Young.

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