Kyrgios crumbles in clay court crushing

NINE double-faults, 16 aces, erratic behaviour, a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct and a loss to Argentina's world No. 94 Nicolas Kicker, all coming one week before the French Open.

Welcome back to the Nick Kyrgios rollercoaster.

Kyrgios managed to lose his Lyon opener 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to the Argentine from a position in which he appeared to be cruising in Lyon.

The Australian fourth seed and world No. 19 ripped through the opening set, serving six aces to blast the 24-year-old qualifier off the court.

Kyrgios was still cruising at 4-4 in the second set - even with an uncustomary four double faults at that stage - before it all went awry.

Kicker made a couple of shots and in a 'blink and you missed it' moment Kyrgios netted a second serve to drop the second set.

The Aussie spent the break between sets repeatedly dropping his water bottle onto the court at his feet, until a ballkid picked it up and gave it to him.

It didn't stop the funk. Kyrgios appeared aloof and even tried hitting a tweener early in the set, when he could have hit a regulation forehand.

Kicker duly passed the Canberran and from there ran away with the match as Kyrgios picked up a code violation.

Aside from the serving woes that dogged Kyrgios throughout, Kicker repeatedly tested out his movement and recent hip injury with drop shots and won many points when the 22-year-old Australian was at the net.

Perhaps harder to fathom was Kyrgios' mental slide throughout the match, on a day where his need to do better in that regard was something he seemed to be painfully aware of.

 

The win set Kicker up for a quarter-final with Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-4.

There was better news for Aussie tennis fans in Strasbourg where Sam Stosur easily accounted for Madison Brengle to reach the last eight.

Stosur's 6-0, 6-1 victory over American Brengle was the identical result to her first-round win over Ying-Ying Duan.

Sixth-seeded Stosur will meet fourth-seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who defeated Christina McHale 6-4 6-1, in the quarter-finals as preparations for the French Open wrap up.

Joining them in the quarters was Chinese eighth seed Shuai Peng, who beat French wildcard Amandine Hesse 7-5 6-2 and Czech player Kristyna Pliskova.

Pliskova ousted ninth seed Monica Puig 6-2 6-3 in quick fashion and next plays either Magda Linette or fifth-seeded Frenchwoman Carolina Garcia.

Both Daria Gavrilova and Ashleigh Barty will continue their tournaments today with second round matches as they seek to join Stosur in the quarter- finals.

News Corp Australia

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