Australian Open 2022: Nick Kyrgios v Liam Broady | COVID-19

Tennis

Nick Kyrgios has breezed through his first-round Australian Open match to set up a mouthwatering second-round duel with top seed Daniil Medvedev.

The former world No.13 cruised to a 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory over Briton Liam Broady at John Cain Arena, destroying all fears over his rocky preparation.

Kyrgios hadn’t played a match since September and had contracted COVID-19 just last week, which he admitted in his on-court interview had bedridden him for two days.

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“I was sleeping 17 hours a day. I was obviously concerned that I wasn’t going to be physically ready to play,” Kyrgios said.

“But I just took it day by day and I just looked at the bright side.

“When I tested positive it wasn’t great news.

“A week out from the Australian Open I had some doubts (and) a lot of messages (asking) if I was going to play.

“I just couldn’t ask for a better team, honestly. The last week has been tough.

“I did isolation, my girlfriend was there and I was lucky enough to get out on the tennis court and just hit some serves.”

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Kyrgios then showed off his colourful best.

“Obviously I served f—–g well today,” the hometown hero said with a smirk as the crowd roared its approval.

The size of the challenge awaiting Kyrgios as the Medvedev clash looms is not lost on the 26-year-old.

Medvedev beat Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen in his first-round match, winning 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-3) at Rod Laver Arena.

“We’re going to be playing on Rod Laver. Let’s be honest,” Kyrgios said with a laugh.

“He’s an amazing player, I knew that he was going to do some special things in this sport and he’s won a grand slam.

“I’m not even going to think about that. I’ve got some doubles tomorrow with Thanasi (Kokkinakis).

“Look, I’m not even going to look ahead. I know I’m going to have to play some pretty good tennis (to beat Medvedev), but I’m just going to enjoy it tonight, (I’ve) got a great day tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”

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