A delighted Nick Kyrgios was left to celebrate a first victory on a clay court for 1055 days at ATP Houston as he overcame Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.
The Australian, who has famously spoken of his disdain for the red dirt in previous years, took the win 4-6 6-3 6-4 against the American at the tournament also known as the US Men’s Clay Court Championship.
Kyrgios served up a total of 18 aces in the match to roar back from a set down while providing the fans with the entertainment they were looking for with one of his traditional tweeners.
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The 26-year-old reflected on his triumph and even made the observation that the clay courts actually suit his game to suggest he is coming round to playing on them.
“Clay is obviously not my preferred surface, but I just served really well and started playing more aggressive and just found another gear,” Kyrgios told the ATP in his post-match interview.
“I did slip and slide a little bit, but my game actually suits the clay quite well.
"It’s a great atmosphere out here and the crowd is pretty involved, so I’m looking forward to continuing to progress through the event.
"You know, I just try and tick all the boxes off the court, try and get good rest, eat well, and you know, just enjoy my time.
"Houston is a great place, lots of shopping, lots of fun things to do. But you know, I'm just enjoying being back on the clay. It's a very short trip, one and done, so... yeah, I'm just enjoying it."

Highlights: Kyrgios seals first win on clay in three years

Fans at Roland Garros will not be treated to Kyrgios' presence at the event after he confirmed he will instead be heading home to Australia. It will be the fifth year in succession that he will have skipped the clay-court Grand Slam.
But he did tell tennis reporter Blair Henley that he would be coming to Roland Garros to play in the event next season because "my girlfriend just wants to see Paris".
"Next year I am going to go to Paris," he said in the interview. "I’m announcing that now, I’m going to the French Open.
"I haven’t played that in four years so I’ll be back next year.
"My girlfriend just wants to see Paris. I mean, I’ll play the French Open as well."
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