Australia's Nick Kyrgios is attended to by a trainer during his match against Portugal's Gasto Elias in the first round at the Australian Open.
Australia's Nick Kyrgios is attended to by a trainer during his match against Portugal's Gasto Elias in the first round at the Australian Open. Andy Brownbill

Kyrgios overcomes bloody nose to advance

NICK Kyrgios has declared he can win the Australian Open after thundering into Melbourne Park's second round, dispelling injury concerns over his knee.

Asked if he thought he was ready to win his first grand slam title, he said: "Well, if I didn't think I'd win it, why would I play?

"I think I can win it. I've beaten pretty much everyone in the draw before. So I think so.”

Unconcerned by a mid-match nose bleed, 14th seed Kyrgios monstered Portuguese baseliner Gastao Elias 6-1 6-2 6-2 to earn a crack at tough Italian Andreas Seppi.

Seppi overcame Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 7-5.

Thriving in the raucous Hisense Arena atmosphere, Kyrgios pounded Elias relentlessly behind a phenomenal serving display.

"The crowd was awesome today. It's why I request this court because it is my favourite court,” he said.

The 21-year-old smoked 21 winners and lost only 13 points on serve, taking only 85 minutes to advance.

Crucially, he showed no sign of compromised movement after suffering knee soreness in the lead-up to the tournament.

Kyrgios surged through the first set in just 19 minutes, savaging Elias's apologetic serve.

Leading 2-1 in the second set, the Australian was briefly halted by a medical time-out for a blood nose.

"​​I have always got a problem with a blood nose, I have bad sinuses​,” he said.

"I get that a lot. They put some, like, woo​l in there or I don't know what it is.

"That makes me sneeze a little bit. It is okay, helps and stops the bleeding. That is all that matters.”​

Kyrgios said he was unperturbed by Roger Federer's claims he was not ready to win the Open.

"I'm not going to, like, say anything back to him about it. Obviously it's his opinion,” he said.

"We'll see. You know, I've done everything I can so far.

"I don't really know what to say. What can I say? It's Roger. I can't really say anything to him.”

Told Seppi might request Court 19 to wrest Kyrgios away from his favoured Hisense battle ground, Kyrgios said: "It will be Hisense.”

HERALD SUN



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