New York: Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios used a lot of firepower, a hair-trigger temper and a thundering serve to upset Russia`s Mikhail Youzhny in his opening match at the U.S. Open on Monday.
The 19-year-old Kyrgios came within one code violation of defaulting, but used his blazing serve to record 26 aces in ousting the Russian 21st seed 7-5, 7-6, (4) 2-6, 7-6 (1).
"It was a tough first match playing Youzhny, someone that`s played well here in the past," Kyrgios said about the two-times U.S. Open semi-finalist who last year fell in the quarters against Novak Djokovic. "I knew I had to serve well, and I hit 26 aces. Those are good stats."
Kyrgios already delivered the message that he is a force to be reckoned with after ousting Rafa Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon as the 144th ranked player. The Australian now stands 60th on the world list.
He said frustration over some poor play and the pressure of higher expectations led him to blow off steam and collect those code violations.
"I guess just heat of the moment. I was frustrated the way I was playing, and it was just all that sort of stuff. It was just an outburst, and hopefully I will be able to control that the next time I play," said Kyrgios.
Kyrgios, who came to Flushing Meadows as a qualifier last year, said the stakes have been raised since his Wimbledon success.
"I`m probably expecting a lot out of myself at these sort of tournaments. I have to know I`m still young and it`s a long journey. I have to just be patient," he admitted, before adding, "I think it`s good to have high expectations, as well."
The crowd at the U.S. National Tennis Center also lifted the young Australian.
"I was really, really happy with that. They were chanting, you know, all sorts of things. It was really good. It gave me the spark in the fourth set. I sort of fed off that a bit and it gave me extra energy.
"I have been an emotional player most of my career. Maybe I will be able to manage it in the future. It`s a work in progress. It`s something that`s always been there."
Kyrgios, who next meets Italy`s Andreas Seppi, said he enjoyed the raucous New York atmosphere so much that the U.S. championship now topped his list.
"I`m going to get scorched in Melbourne, but it`s my favorite grand slam," he said.