Kyr­gios beats Gof­fin to take Ja­pan Open

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Aus­tralian power-hit­ter Nick Kyr­gios fired an in­cred­i­ble 25 aces yes­ter­day to win the Ja­pan Open, pound­ing Bel­gium’s David Gof­fin 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Kyr­gios rock­eted serves clock­ing in at more than 220 kilo­me­tres (136 miles) per hour in quick suc­ces­sion, giv­ing Gof­fin lit­tle time to re­gain his rhythm. Gof­fin used his quick foot­work and long ral­lies to put pres­sure on his op­po­nent, but Kyr­gios’ fear­some serves in the end over­whelmed the world’s num­ber 14.

The Aus­tralian, ranked 15 in the world, also showed off some sharp ground strokes and saved 11 of 12 break points to lift the tro­phy in two hours. “I think my serves are what got me out of trou­ble,” Kyr­gios said. “David makes you feel like the court is small. It was a tough match.” Gof­fin man­aged to take the up­per hand early in the match by hit­ting deep, an­gled re­turns to make his op­po­nent run while win­ning long ral­lies with some clever foot­work.

But Kyr­gios fired off superb serves from the start, es­ca­lat­ing his big-serve of­fen­sives in the sec­ond set, land­ing 11 aces, fol­lowed by 10 more in the third. He also took risks to blast out siz­zling shots even af­ter fault­ing on first serves.

“His (Gof­fin’s) strength was re­turn­ing. So I had to step up my serves a lit­tle bit es­pe­cially in the sec­ond set,” Kyr­gios said, adding that he also man­aged to im­prove his re­turns as the match pro­gressed. Gof­fin said he at­tempted to play ral­lies and wait for Kyr­gios to make mis­takes, but faced an un­end­ing shower of can­non-like serves. “In the first set, he was not serv­ing like he did in the sec­ond and third. I was on the ball in the first set,” Gof­fin said.

“I think, dur­ing the match, he had to serve well be­cause I was do­ing ral­lies bet­ter,” he said.

“He served 215 (kilo­me­tres per hour) on the line with a lot of pre­ci­sion.

Even if you choose the right side, it’s tough to re­turn,” Gof­fin added. Kyr­gios grabbed his third tro­phy of the sea­son, af­ter many of his big-name ri­vals pulled out of the Tokyo tour­na­ment due to in­juries. De­fend­ing cham­pion and US Open win­ner Stan Wawrinka with­drew from the event due to back trou­ble, while home favourite Kei Nishikori, win­ner in 2014 and 2012, was un­able to fin­ish his sec­ond-round match Wed­nes­day be­cause of mus­cle strain.

In­juries also forced Ar­gentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro, Ja­pan Open win­ner in 2013, to skip the tour­na­ment af­ter re­ceiv­ing an in­vi­ta­tion as a wild­card. — AFP

TOKYO: Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios re­turns a shot against Bel­gium’s David Gof­fin dur­ing the men’s sin­gles fi­nal at the ATP Ja­pan Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Tokyo yes­ter­day. — AFP

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