The form guide rang true.
Despite taking a set off of the world number three for the first time in all their four meetings thus far, Nick Kyrgios was again no match for staunch Scot Andy Murray, falling to the former Wimbledon champ in the first round of the US Open.
Kyrgios was fiery from the opening serve, having been temporarily relieved of the suspended shackles imposed upon him by the ATP – a threatened sanction that does not apply during Grand Slam tournament play.
To clarify, probation which ATP put Kyrgios under does not apply to Grand Slams, but only ATP events. So he’s unleashed tonight. #usopen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 1, 2015
Despite never having beaten his much more fancied opponent – copping the number three seed first up in what was universally agreed to be a pretty rough draw – the controversial ‘Strayan fired up, showing off some of the raw talent and ability that has rocketed him up the world rankings.
But his now-trademark temper flared up on a number of occasions, including during the first set when he protested with the umpire after spectators were let into the stadium seating area during a match.
The first two sets saw a push-and-pull contest that Murray managed to get the better of, before Kyrgios caught the Scotsman napping in the third set to provide a glimmer of hope.
But Murray turned on the afterburners in the fourth, stampeding over Kyrgios (who received warnings from the umpire over repeated audible obscenities) to run out a comfortable winner in four sets, 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Joining him on the sidelines of the singles tournament is good mate Thanasi Kokkinakis, who withdrew from his first round match against Richard Gasquet due to severe cramping, with the game locked at two sets a piece and Gasquet up 2-0 in the fifth.
Conversely, Lleyton Hewitt was the beneficiary of an opponent retiring, with Kazakhstani Aleksandr Nedovyesov pulling out during the third set of their first round clash, which Hewitt was leading two sets to nil.
Hewitt will now face fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic in the second round, in a clash of generational jerks.
Photo: Clive Brunskill via Getty Images.