An emotional Nick Kyrgios had given the hosts the lead after defeating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6(4) at the ATP Cup 2020 on Friday. A serving masterclass from the Australian helped him take “revenge” of his last year’s defeat to Struff.
In his first competitive match after nearly three months, Kyrgios looked right at home in front of his home crowd in Brisbane. He did not face a single breakpoint in the course of two sets as he hit 20 aces and won 87 per cent (40/46) of his first-serve points.
“Struff is a tough competitor, he beat me in Madrid last year so I wanted a bit of revenge honestly. He’s a great guy though, we are good mates in the locker room,” Kyrgios said in an interview with Prakash Amritraj at Tennis Channel.
He further added: “So I knew he is tough when he serves well, his 1-2 is one of the best. He had the best year of his career last year. So he is feeling pretty good and I am happy for him.”
Jan-Lennard Struff evened their ATP head-to-head series 1-1 last year in the round of 64 of the Mutua Madrid Open 2019. However, the 24-year-old broke the tie after serving out the match in the tie-break.
The hot-headed Kyrgios had pledged an A$200 donation for every ace he serves during the tennis season in Australia in order to generate some relief funds for victims of the country’s bushfire catastrophe.
Nick contributed abundantly to the cause by smashing 20 aces in the opening match of Australia vs Germany tie at the ATP Cup 2020. In total, the world No. 30 help raising a total of $6,000, as the ATP Cup is also donating $100 per ace during the tournament.
Kyrgios’ hometown, Canberra has been severely affected by the bushfires. The air quality in Canberra has worsened and has impacted the city where his mother still lives. A number of Australian sportspeople have also rallied behind Nick’s step to raise relief and recovery funds for his country.
Australia won the tie against Germany after Alex de Minaur defeated World No.7 Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 in the second singles rubber. In doubles, the Australian pair Chris Guccione and John Peers completed the 3-0 sweep with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz.