'Sport is entertainment': Kyrgios and Tomic pairing up for unlikely doubles run

Nick Kyrgios will follow his strange singles defeat in Madrid with an unexpected shot at the doubles alongside none other than Bernard Tomic.

The Australian is on the cusp of missing out on a seeding for the French Open, which starts on May 26, after his first match on clay ended abruptly in Spain.

Kyrgios was outplayed by Jan-Lennard Struff, who won 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 at the Masters 1000 event in Madrid.

It was another mixed bag from the world No.34 as he served well on occasion but bombed out with all three underarm deliveries and relied too heavily on drop shots to win some cheap points.

His one outburst occurred after Struff won a point to serve for the first set, Kyrgios breaking his racquet in frustration and earning a warning.

Kyrgios strangely appeared to only have access to two racquets during the match, leaving the court with them sticking out of a leather backpack instead of a regulation tennis bag.

He had been playing his first match since the Miami Open in March when he lost to Borna Coric in the round of 16.

Kyrgios will get more match practice on the red clay in Madrid when he partners with Bernard Tomic in the doubles.

The wildcard pair will play eighth-seeded duo John Peers of Australia and Finn Henri Kontinen on Tuesday.

The Madrid tournament’s decision to give Kyrgios and Tomic a place in the draw sparked a debate among tennis fans.

"Unfortunately sport is entertainment," Kyrgios tweeted in response to a Twitter post questioning the move.

Kyrgios and Tomic, who have never played an official ATP match against each other, have paired up for doubles once before.

The former Davis Cup teammates lost in the first round at the 2014 US Open.

Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic will this week play doubles together in an official match for the first time since 2014. Pic: Getty

Kyrgios crashes out

While the first set was close on the scoreboard, Struff dominated play with Kyrgios winning just three points on his opponent's serve across six games and the tiebreaker.

It looked like things would turn around as Kyrgios capitalised on a double fault and some unforced errors by world No.48 Struff as he claimed a break in the opening game of the second set.

But the advantage wasn't to last.

Struff levelled at 2-2, games staying on serve until he broke Kyrgios comfortably at 5-4 to take the match.

In the day's only other first-round encounter, 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime evened his career head-to-head record with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Auger-Aliassime dismissed the 20-year-old Shapovalov 6-2 7-6 (9-7) to move into a second-round showdown with the king of clay, Rafael Nadal.

with AAP