By Herman Wood
(July 26, 2018) ATLANTA – At the BB&T Atlanta Open on Thursday, Nick Kyrgios took on Noah Rubin for the last spot in the quarterfinals in the evening match. Aces dominated both men’s first service games. Rubin made a little headway in Kyrgios second service game, winning two points. The problem was, Kyrgios was already up 40-0. The first five games were played in the blink of an eye. If patrons got caught in Atlanta traffic, they likely missed the first set and possibly the match. In the first set, Kyrgios had six aces to Rubin’s four. The biggest problem for Rubin was his second serve. Kyrgios owned those points. The set stayed on serve until Rubin was serving at 5-6. Rubin fought off 2 break points, but not a third. Kyrgios worked the point until he could take a huge rip for a forehand winner.
Rubin quickly returned the favor with a break of Kyrgios’ first service game, especially with Kyrgios serving as soon as he could get his hands on a ball. Rubin was unable to consolidate, despite Kyrgios giving him an open court to hit a backhand to stay in the game. It was the last time Rubin was close. Rubin earned a code violation for expressing his disapproval with a ball after the break. Just like that, the set was back on serve. Kyrgios sped through a service game hold and then pressured Rubin into another break to take control of the set 3-1. Kyrgios’ service games seemed to take less than a minute. It was not just the pace of play, but his forehand hit 100 miles per hour or more repeatedly. At 5-2 in the second set, Rubin was having a very tough time simply putting the serve of Kyrgios in play. Rubin could not manage to hold his serve, sending the last ball into the net to give Kyrgios the match, 7-5, 6-2.
Kyrgios said, “I was a little nervous coming out.” “I really enjoy this crowd.” When asked about using different service motions during the match, he admitted to imitating a variety of players. He said, “I think at times I get a little bit bored. I controlled that a little better today.” Whichever motion helped him to his fifteen aces is the one he should use all the time. He also struck thirty winners in the match.
He will play Cameron Norrie in the quarterfinals ton Friday in the evening’s feature match.