Kyrgios Set To Meet French Resistance

Image courtesy of theaustralian/Colleen Petch/News Limited
Nick Kyrgios slammed down 34 aces in his opening round win. Image courtesy of theaustralian/Colleen Petch/News Limited
18 years ago an Australian teenager named Mark Philippoussis announced himself on the world stage when he blew Pete Sampras off the court with a power-packed display at the Australian Open. On Tuesday, Aussie wild card Nick Kyrgios hammered down 34 aces in beating Benjamin Becker in four sets at Melbourne Park. His first big win in front of Australian fans didn’t quite come with the same fanfare as Flip’s breakthrough victory over Pistol Pete, but he has more in common with Philippoussis than just his Greek heritage.

Kyrgios has serious power and the next man to face his onslaught is talented but temperamental Frenchman Benoit Paire , the 27nd seed. The teenager has already shown he can beat quality players at this level after recording his first Grand Slam win at last year’s French Open when he beat former top-tenner Radek Stepanek in straight sets.

Paire comes in to this after disposing of Canadian Frank Dancevic in straight sets the first round. Not much can be taken out of that victory, though, as Dancevic fainted during the match and said he saw fictional character ‘Snoopy’ when he started hallucinating during the first set. It was just his second win at the first Grand Slam of the year in what is his fourth appearance at Melbourne Park.

Last year was Paire’s best season on hardcourt winning nine of 19 matches, but clay is, by far, his preferred surface. It’s interesting to note that Paire lost to Becker on hardcourt in the back end of last year, but in his last start against a monster server, he managed to hold off Milos Raonic in Stockholm in straight sets. 

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