Nick Kyrgios roared back from a “frustrating” first set on Thursday night to reach the quarter-finals of the Japan Open, defeating Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Despite his slow start, the maverick Australian emerged victorious in typical crowd-pleasing style, showing off with 22 aggressive aces and some exaggeratedly effortless points.
The 27-year-old, who was knocked out in the last eight at the US Open, said despite Majchrzak breaking his serve, there was “never really doubt in my mind that I was going to win”.
“I’ve barely been broken all year,” so when “the opponent doesn’t really do much to break me it’s quite frustrating,” he said after the 1h 21min match.
“I was just not playing the right way — the court’s very fast,” Kyrgios added.
But by being “a bit more aggressive” in the second and third sets, the world number 20 said he “ended up just weathering the storm and then coming through”.
“I’ve got really good confidence in my game right now. So I don’t really doubt myself, even when I’m down a set … firing Grand Slams has given me that confidence.”