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Blink And You Would Have Missed An Astonishing Nick Kyrgios Demolition

He totally outclassed his Portuguese opponent.

16/01/2017 7:38 PM AEDT | Updated 17/01/2017 8:23 AM AEDT
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There was no time to make a cup of tea.

Wow. That happened so quickly, it looked like being over before the traditional TV "prime time" slot kicked in at 8pm.

Nick Kyrgios completely dominated his hapless Portuguese opponent Gastao Elias, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 25 minutes.

This was the world number 13 at his sublime best. All power, a little finesse when required, then more power. Those serves down the T. Every second shot he hit was un-hit-back-able. Which is not a word, but what the heck? Nick Kyrgios doesn't play tennis like other tennis players either.

"He is completely overmatched here," said Channel Seven commentator Jim Courier of Elias, late in the first set which Kyrgios won 6-1. "All he can hope is that Kyrgios can beat himself because there's no chance [Elias] can beat Nick Kyrgios otherwise."

That did not even half look like happening.

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Shhhh! Don't tell him how well he's playing.

The only thing which slowed the match down was a blood nose, which Kyrgios' mother Norlaila (better known as "Nill") said is something which has plagued the 21-year-old throughout his life.

"The pressure's on me to battle myself," Kyrgios said earlier this week of his extremely unorthodox progression through the tennis ranks without a coach.

Right now, it's a battle he appears to be winning. But for how long? Interestingly, Courier believes Kyrgios has no chance of taking the next step without a coach. That's a step which entails winning majors in addition to maintaining a high ranking.

That, of course, is just one man's opinion, but it's a respected opinion. Kyrgios does have a new strength and conditioning coach, which may explain how he kicked into such a high gear in his first Australian Open match after not much serious tennis in the lead-up.

But a skills coach? Is there somebody out there who fits the bill? As Kyrgios' childhood coach Andrew Bulley told the Huffington Post Australia in October, that person will have to be someone Kyrgios can trust.

"I think he needs to respect the person and know the person pretty well," Bulley told us, explaining that Kyrgios had several coaches foisted upon him at the Australian Institute of Sport as a teenager, none of whom worked out.

"That's why he's a bit reticent to get a coach now. He doesn't want to tell someone 'sorry mate, it's not working out' again. He doesn't want to burn someone."

Coach or no coach, it's hard to know what you'd tell a guy who's in such hot form. Perhaps you'd encourage him to show a touch more patience in rallies. Kyrgios almost inevitably tries to hit a winner, whether the shot's on or not, after five or six shots in a rally.

But this is splitting hairs. Kyrgios showed a complete game on night one of what will hopefully be a campaign lasting more than a few nights.

He also showed a lack of the sort of behaviour which has polarised Australians in the past. There were no angry outbursts, no verbal vulgarities, no racquet smashes. Perhaps one day soon the lack of such things won't be newsworthy, but for now, it still is.

Regardless of what the tut-tutters say, everyday Australians clearly love the Canberran. They queued patiently to make their way into Hisense arena, the Melbourne Park venue which is first-in, best-dressed, rather than ticketed. In other words, it's a place where real fans go.

"The crowd was awesome today and that's why I requested this court," Kyrgios said after the match.

The crowd was indeed awesome. And creative too. At one point they sang "He moves in Nick Kyrgios Ways" to the tune of U2's "Mysterious Ways". Which was pure gold.

But the greatest thing out there was Nick Kyrgios himself, and with a day off ahead of him, it's a nice little piece of luck that he'll miss playing in the 38 degree shocker predicted for Melbourne on Tuesday.



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