Australian junior Nick Kyrgios will ascend to the top of the junior boys’ singles world rankings on Monday, but it was business as usual for the 17-year-old as he swept through his opening round match in the 2013 Australian Open boys singles competition on Sunday.
Kyrgios, seeded No. 3, brushed aside Turkey’s Cem Ilkel 6-3 6-1 in 45 minutes on Court 8 to begin his campaign in style.
The Australian entered the match in stellar form, having won the 20th annual AGL Loy Yang Traralgon International event last week.
“Coming off last week I have a lot of confidence and belief in my game,” Kyrgios said. “There is a lot of expectation on my performance this week and I thought I started off well.”
He described his imminent rise from No. 3 to No. 1 in the junior rankings as a dream come true.
“It is something I’ve worked for, for the past three or four years,” he said.
“It’s a great accomplishment. There have been some really good players that have been the number one junior.”
That includes 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, a player Kyrgios lists as an idol.
“Roger Federer is an unbelievable role model, but my favourite player is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,” Kyrgios said.
“I sort of model my game around his, with a really good serve and I try to dictate with my forehand.”
There will not being any big celebrations for Kyrgios though. He is instead aiming to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Luke Saville, the 2012 champion, and Bernard Tomic, the 2008 champion, and hold aloft the boys’ singles trophy at Melbourne Park.
“Winning the whole thing is my main goal,” Kyrgios said. “But I’m trying not to think about it yet and just take it one match at a time.”
The big-hitting teen has tasted grand slam success already, teaming with fellow Australian Andrew Harris to win the French Open and Wimbledon boys’ doubles titles last year. His best singles results were Wimbledon and US Open quarter-final appearances.
Kyrgios believed his doubles success had helped his singles improve, and said he felt ready to take the next step this year.
“I got a lot of confidence from that and my transitioning into the net has gotten a lot better in singles as well. I’m not so afraid of hitting the ball and coming into the net,” he said.
Kyrgios is also into the second round of the boys’ doubles, teaming with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis to defeat Russian duo Anton Desyatnik and Fedor Andrienko 6-1 6-1.
Kokkinakis was a round one singles winner on Sunday, the second day of junior competition, upsetting 12th seeded American Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 7-5 6-4.
Swedish No. 5 seed Elias Ymer was eliminated from the boys’ singles by Korea’s Ku Keon Kang, but No. 2 seeded Italian Gianluigi Quinzi had no such problems, beating Australian Bradley Mousley. South African seventh seed Wayne Montgomery outlasted Australian Harry Bourchier in a marathon, winning 7-6(4) 1-6 9-7.
The No.1 seeds in the boys’ doubles, Croatia’s Borna Coric and Serbian Laslo Djere, survived a second set fade-out to beat Serbian Luka Ilic and Turkey’s Cem Ilkel 6-4 0-6 10-7.
In the girls’ singles, American No. 9 seed Christina Makarova only won two games as she was thrashed in the opening round by Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, while No.14 seed Erin Routliffe lost to Serbian Ivana Jorovic. No. 2 seed Katerina Siniakova, of the Czech Republic, was a winner but needed three sets to advance against South African Ilze Hattingh.
Australians Samantha Harris and Astra Sharma combined to cause an upset in the girls doubles competition, knocking out No. 3 seeds Alexandra Kiick of America and Elise Mertens of Belgium 1-6 6-2 10-5.