Nick Kyrgios beats Ryan Harrison to win Brisbane International, his first ATP title in Australia
NICK Kyrgios blazed a path to his first ATP title on Australian soil while warning a tour supervisor in the first set that his knee injury could keep him out of the Australian Open.
Kyrgios’s serve dominated his first final in Australia, with 17 aces and a 71 per cent first serve accuracy in his 6-4, 6-2 dismissal of American Ryan Harrison in their Brisbane International decider, a day after his 18 aces hit world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov out of their three-set semi-final.
Kyrgios was denied by tour supervisor Gerry Armstrong a chance in the first set to have a medical time-out for treatment on the left knee which he has had taped for all four matches he played this week.
HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE?: Kyrgios slams rules
The Australian No.1 disagreed with Armstrong’s refusal to allow him to have medical time-out when he called a trained to change his knee taping at 5-3 in the first set of a Pat Rafter Arena final which gave him his seventh ATP Tour final.
“That rule should be changed … it’s getting worse,’’ Kyrgios told Armstrong, evenly but with exasperation.
Nick Kyrgios with his knee strapped during his win over Ryan Harrison. Picture: AAP
“This is an injury which could keep me out of the Australian Open. Imagine how I feel.’’
After the first set, Kyrgios debated with umpire Fergus Murphy that Harrison should not have been allowed such a long break to go off court, while he waited in his courtside chair.
“It’s in the rule book right now that he can just leave the court for almost 10 minutes. How long can you go for?,’’ Kyrgios said.
Murphy replied that Harrison’s time away from the court was “reasonable’’.
“What’s reasonable? It’s not reasonable,’’ Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios’s critics may want to acknowledge that this tournament, at least, was one in which he conducted himself well on-court, not receiving one code violation even in a final in which he felt officials were not giving him a fair rub of the green.
Kyrgios with opponent Ryan Harrison before the final. Picture: AFP
The 22-year-old said after both his quarter-final and semi-final wins that he would not lose any sleep if he lost his next match in Brisbane, which was an honest reaction if not exactly something the tournament will run as an advertising slogan next summer.
The Australian will take his four matches of tournament play to the Australian Open via the detour of two modified-scores evenings (Fast4) this week in Sydney and Melbourne.
Kyrgios’ serve was again a weapon. Picture: AFP
Kyrgios served eight aces in his first three service games, but needed to, as he had to avert two breakpoint chances at 0-1 and three more at 2-3.
The Canberran pounced on his first break point opportunities in a game in which he cracked two forehand passes beyond Harrison, ranked No.47, and forced a volley error.
“I’ve got such great support here. I love playing in front of you guys (Brisbane spectators) even though sometimes it might not seem like I do,” said Kyrgios, who said he liked the idea of being on the Brisbane champions list with Lleyton Hewitt, the 2014 winner.
Kyrgios had reached the final while having lost the first set of each of his three previous matches, including the first in which he had a trainer treat his sore left knee three times in the first set.