It is hard to say with any degree of certainty that “Kyrgios argues with umpire…” is a headline worthy phrase, but the important part is the second half, “Wins in straight sets.”
Kyrgios is frequently quite emotional by tennis player standards.
Many top players maintain, at least externally, an air of acceptance, out of the belief that controlling emotions is the better path for dealing with the swings and twists of a tennis match, but Kyrgios is not one of that group.
We like Kyrgios because we never need to expend a lot of energy trying to figure out what he is thinking.
Roger “Robot” Federer and Novak Djokovic are more enigmatic by degrees of magnitude.
Back in the day, looking at the likes of Laver, Rosewall and some of the others, it was impossible to know how a match was progressing until the score was displayed.
Quite possibly the ultimate manifestation of stoicism was that of Bjorn “Cyborg” Borg, who never showed any reaction, even when it was two of the more demonstrative, Ilie Nastase or John McEnroe across the net.
Kyrgios is capable of shots that find us stepping on our jaws. That almost seems to be his weakness, however, as good shots do not necessarily win matches.
To win matches, you have to win the last point.
That is exactly what Kyrgios did in dismissing America’s Steve Johnson in straight sets, 6 – 3, 7 – 6, 6 – 4.
The ailing back that has plagued Kyrgios of late seemed fine, although it remains to be seen if he can withstand the rigours of U.S. Open tennis and its best-of-five format for men’s singles.
Kyrgios, whom we have often referred to as the poor man’s McEnroe, was on serve, dishing up 24 aces and winning 88 percent of the points on his first serve.
True to form, however, when the match got a bit tight in the second set, with the score level at four, excessive spectator movement in Kyrgios’ sightline as he was preparing to serve almost proved his undoing.
He engaged in an argument with chair umpire James Keothavong, a Brit, and anyone can tell you who wins an argument between a Brit and an Aussie.
Kyrgios copped a code violation for swearing at the umpire, but it was true that there were a lot of people moving around, which is more a reflection on poor New York etiquette than a case of Kyrgios whinging.