WASHINGTON (AP) — Nick Kyrgios, after ending a three-year championship drought, picked up the trophy live at the Citi Open, his last title win, with a trophy he wanted to thank. The man list was rambling, and he mentioned match officials.
The Wimbledon runner-up then caught himself, adding with a knowing smile: “The relationship with the referee is still rocky.”
Kyrgios continued the best form of his career and put on another performance that made him worth taking seriously at the U.S. Open, saving the only break point he faced in the final, 6-4, 6- 3 defeated Nishioka at the Jiren Citi Open.
“It was very emotional for me,” said Kyrgios, who collapsed on the blue court at the end of the game, before talking about what he himself called an “incredible transformation.” In the evening, he returned to that court to play in the doubles final with Jack Sock.
Earlier Sunday, Lyudmila Samsonova won her second career 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Canepi in the Citi Open women’s final WTA champion.
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Kyrgios, who won his seventh career tour singles title, won his sixth in 2019 — on a hard court in the U.S. capital, preparing for Flushing Meadows.
As usual, when Kyrgios came on, the serve was ahead: he hit 12 aces and won 22 of his 25 first serve points. He won all nine service games against Nishioka to end the week 64-64 in the tournament, saving all 10 of his opponent’s break points. On Sunday, the only opponent Kyrgios had to face was a 3-2 first set, when Kyrgios volleyed to break it up.
“I can’t figure out his serve skills,” said Nishioka, who ranked Kyrgios No. 1 in the category on tour and praised the 27-year-old Australian for being “more focused” than he was earlier in his career .
Kyrgios managed to beat 96th-ranked Japan’s Nishioka and knocked out top seed Andrei Rublev three times in the semifinals – in the opening match of each set and in the final match. beat again in the game.
It marked quite a bit of unusual consistency for Kyrgios, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the All England Club, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios didn’t get any ranking points for it — no one at Wimbledon — but Washington’s singles title would push him from 63rd to 37th, within the range of possible seeds at the U.S. Open.
The game will begin on August 29 at Flushing Meadows. It comes less than a week before a court hearing in Australia is scheduled to bring common assault charges against Kyrgios.