The Courier-Mail

Four survive but most Aussies flushed away in first round


FORMER champions Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur will play the second round of the US Open, leading a whittled down contingent of just four Australian­s after another disappoint­ing day on court.

Hewitt will take on fellow Australian and first round winner Bernard Tomic.

Hewitt, who has mentored Tomic but has not yet played against him at a tournament level, said the all-Australian showdown would be “awkward”.

“That’s the only way to summarise that,’’ he said.

“I get along great with Bernie. Helped him a lot.

“Hit with him this week. Yeah, just awkward.’’

The showdown comes after Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, qualifier John-Patrick Smith, Jarmila Gadjosova, Ajla Tomljanovi­c and James Duckworth were all beaten at Flushing Meadows yesterday.

Kokkinakis retired

hurt after a crippling injury saw him resort to serving underarm and destroying his racquet in anger.

The 19-year-old had staged an early assault on 12th seed Richard Gasquet in the first round match before his whole body was overcome with severe cramping.

He had already taken the first and third sets in a spirited fight, when he said he first felt cramping in his forearm.

The pair were tied two sets all, with Kokkinakis down two NICK KyrgKyrgio­s swore on court, took aim at the crowcrowd and pretended to nap as he went head to head with world number three Andy Murray.

The bizabizarr­e nature of the match prompted the original tennis brat, John McEnroe, tto warn that Kyrgios could be rememberre­membered as a clown due to his “boneheadbo­nehead” antics.

KyrgioKyrg­ios (pictured above and left), who strostrode on to centre court with his signatursi­gnature fluorescen­t shoes and headphohea­dphones to the blaring sound of WolfmotWol­fmother’s Joker and the Thief, lost to Murray in four sets.

It was ththe fourth time the pair had met and ththe first time Kyrgios had held a set against Murray, finishing 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. It was Kyrgios’s first match since being put on probation by the ATP, with a posspossib­le 28-day suspension and $25,000 ffine if he acts up. But that threat doedoesn’t apply to grand slams. Kyrgios unravelled quickly on court, fuming when Murray broke his serve. He exploded about fans being llet into Arthur Ashe stadium during his game. Usually, tennis spectators are let in and out of stadiums during chachangeo­vers.

“What tthe hell were they doing letting peopeople in?” he yelled.

He didndidn’t let the issue go, glaring up at the stanstands in-between his serves.

“Middle of the game. Unreal,” he said. “It’s bullshbull­shit. F---ing bullshit.”

In the fofourth set, Kyrgios received an audible obobscenit­y warning. Between sets, he sluslumped back in his chair with his eyes cloclosed, as if he were sleeping, and on coucourt, he banged his racquet on the ground and against a wall.

His play was at times confusing and seemed ererratic – at one point, his racquet fleflew out of this hand – despite giving an ooverall good performanc­e.

“I hope he learns from these bonehead moves,” McEnroe said on ESPN. “He should be a seed already. At least 20. YYou don’t want to be rememberre­membered as a clown. You want to be rememberre­membered as a player.” games in the fifth, when he retired. He had tried to play on injured after taking a medical break, where he struggled to even sit because of the pain.

Kokkinakis later said the cramping had happened to him once before when he was 17.

“I was playing good tennis,” he said, referring to the loss as one of the most devastatin­g of his career.

“It would have been one of the biggest wins of my career. Maybe the emotions. I don’t know if I got too fired up.”

Sam Groth joins Hewitt, Stosur and Tomic in the second round after he was the only Australian to win on Monday.

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 ??  ?? RARE WIN: Sam Stosur.
RARE WIN: Sam Stosur.

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