Wildcard Nick Kyrgios brushed aside the challenge of seeded Italian Fabio Fognini to cruise into the last 16 of the Miami Open with a 6-2, 6-4 victory completed in just 61 minutes.
The veteran world No 34 was out of sorts in the opening set, struggling with his movement and Kyrgios took full advantage taking the set in 28 minutes, breaking in the opening game and again in the seventh.
However, Fognini rallied in the second set despite appearing uncomfortable between points, but perfectly fit during play. The Australian, eight years younger at 26, but ranked 102nd, was frustrated at this inconsistency as the match went with serve to 4-4.
Kyrgios then stepped up a level to break serve before he closed out the victory.
“I wanted to keep the momentum going,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “As soon as I had break points I wanted to take them. I served well and I am happy to be through. I am just returning well.
“My doubles has helped me a lot on my singles court. The way I am serving and returning is quite a sight to see.”
With his victory, Kyrgios has improved to 7-2 on the season, having arrived in Miami on the back of a run to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells. He next faces world No 11 Jannik Sinner, a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 winner over the 19th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta, for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Commentator and former Wimbledon finalist Tim Henman said of Kyrgios: “It was a really great performance, not only was his tennis of a really high standard I thought mentally he kept his composure really well. It was mature, professional, calculated. He’ll be extremely pleased with his progress so far.”
Thanasi Kokkinakis will play American Denis Kudla in a bid to join his good friend and doubles partner in the round of 16 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.