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Kyrgios cruises past No 5-seeded Rublev in 52 minutes at Miami

Nick Kyrgios continued his fine form in Miami with a dominant victory over No 5 seed Andrey Rublev on Friday.

Miami Open 2022: Men’s Singles Draw | Results | Order of Play

With 13 wins in his last 14 matches and two titles to his name in 2022, Andrey Rublev was one of the hottest players on the ATP Tour before taking the court for his second-round match on Friday at Miami.

Could have fooled Nick Kyrgios.

The 102nd-ranked Aussie made light work of Rublev, dispatching the world No 7 in a cool 52 minutes, 6-3, 6-0, to set a third-round clash with Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

The victory marks Kyrgios’ 23rd top-10 victory.

Kyrgios: My Shoulders opened up

Kyrgios was down a break early against Rublev but flipped the script and ran away with 10 of the final 11 games. He says his return game came into focus, and the rest of his game fell into place midway through the opening set.

“He came out hot in the start,” said Kyrgios. “That’s tennis, a couple of points can swing the momentum change like that. Once I got that double break I started seeing the return really well – I’ve been returning well the last couple of months. When that’s happening, I’m serving the way I’m serving, I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, my shoulders opened up and I just ran with it.”

Kyrgios cracked 20 winners against just eight unforced errors, and he was able to win more than half of his return points (22 of 39) against the normally reliable service game of Rublev.

“I know that he’s the type of player that relies on a little bit of rhythm, so I just tried to keep the points short and sharp,” The 26-year-old Canberra native said. “Just play aggressive, I can’t let him get on to too many groundstrokes.

“I’m just happy with my performance, whether it’s 7-6 in the third or something like [today’s scoreline], I’m just happy to get through. Top-10, top-20 or top-1000, I don’t really care. I could lose to anyone on any given day or beat anyone – that’s been the story of my career so I’m just happy to get through.”

The return was a big factor in Kyrgios’ success vs Rublev

Rublev only managed to win 4 of 21 second-serve points and he was broken five times. Kyrgios said part of his game plan was to step in and take advantage of his opponent’s second serves.

“On this surface you have to punish those that don’t really serve that big on second serves,” he said. “He’s not serving massive second serves, quite short in the box and one of my strengths is court position so it’s just basic tennis. That’s how I played my junior tennis that’s how I play it now, I just play aggressive, try to take it early and that’s it.”

Fognini next

The Aussie will face Italy’s Fabio Fognini next. Fognini topped Taro Daniel 6-7(1), 6-2, 7-6(5) on Friday.

Kyrgios won the pair’s only previous meeting, 6-3, 6-3, at Miami in 2018.

“He’s a hell of a player, I’ve played him once before,” Kyrgios said. “I felt comfortable out there but again, he’s a hell of a player – we know what he’s capable of as well, I’m just going to go out there and have some fun.”

  • Seeds who won on Friday: Seeds who lost on Friday: No 2 Zverev, No 6 Ruud, No 9 Sinner, No 10 Norrie, No 17 Carreno Busta, No 22 Monfils, No 28 Tiafoe, No 30 Bublik, No 31 Fognini
  • Seeds who lost on Friday: No 4 Berrettini, No 5 Rublev, No 13 Schwartzman, No 16 Opelka, No 19 Sonego No 20 Isner
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