Fans expecting fireworks from Nick Kyrgios in his opening Australian Open match didn't have to wait long for the home-grown favourite to deliver.
Playing unheralded Portuguese star Frederico Ferreira Silva, things didn't exactly go according to plan for Kyrgios during the evening session on day one at Melbourne Park.
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Kyrgios went into the first round clash under somewhat of an injury cloud, after complaining of a knee injury during last week's Murray River Open.
The fiery Aussie had only played four matches since his fourth round elimination by Rafael Nadal at last year's Australian Open.
The 25-year-old showed signs of rust from the onset against Ferreira Silva - the World No.185 playing in his first grand slam tournament.
Kyrgios' Portuguese opponent claimed the opening game of the match, before breaking Kyrgios in the next game - at the first time of asking.
A frustrated Kyrgios could be heard muttering under his breath, saying to himself at one point: ""Are you awake? You're saying one thing for two games."
The tension grew in a marathon third game where Kyrgios squandered a number of chances to break back before his frustrations got the better of him.
"Tell your girlfriend to get out of my box," the Aussie could be heard shouting towards his players box.
Kyrgios rant leaves fans perplexed
It was unclear who Kyrgios directed his anger towards, but the bizarre exchange had viewers talking on social media.
— Ashley Weidner (@bigash65) February 8, 2021
That third game had everything. Ten deuces, eight break points, some great shotmaking from both guys and, of course, Nick Kyrgios telling, we assume, his brother’s girlfriend to “get out of my box”. #AusOpen
— Marc McGowan 🗣✍️👨🏻💻📰 (@ByMarcMcGowan) February 8, 2021
Nick Kyrgios: "Tell ur girlfriends to get outta my box", then proceeds to cuss under his breath 🙈😂💀🤣#Kyrgios finally snatches the break back, after 7 opportunities in the 3rd game of the first set on his beloved Hisense (John Cain) Arena.#AusOpen
— Willy Alexander 🌊🛹 (@sirwillyyXD) February 8, 2021
In a 15-minute game, Kyrgios dropped an f-bomb, yelled to "get your girlfriend out of my box!", and, finally, broke his opponent's serve on his 8th (?) break point. #AustralianOpen
— JeanClaudePanDemic (@TheLennoXFiles) February 8, 2021
It seems like Kyrgios isn't happy that someone in his box has brought their girlfriend. He was still muttering about it after the change of ends. #AusOpen
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshMedia) February 8, 2021
Kyrgios telling someone’s girlfriend to get out of his box 😂😂 maybe focus on the game #AusOpen
— dan the dirty pie (@TheDak04) February 8, 2021
Whose girlfriend is in Kyrgios’s box? And why does he want her evicted?#AusOpen
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) February 8, 2021
Despite the sluggish start and his displeasure with someone’s girlfriend being in his box, Kyrgios managed to turn things around.
Kyrgios eventually did break Ferreira Silva’s serve before holding his own to level things up at 2-2.
The Aussie then seemed to find a rhythm and let his racquet do the talking, as he grabbed another break before jumping out to a 5-4 lead.
With an opportunity to serve for the opening set, Kyrgios didn’t drop a single point as he took the opening stanza 6-4 to the delight of fans inside his favoured John Cain Arena.
From there it was relatively smooth sailing for Kyrgios, whose experience shone through against the Portuguese grand slam rookie.
The World No.47 booked his passage safely into the second round courtesy of a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win in 119 minutes.
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