Nick Kyrgios said he hopes he "never again" has to face his good friend, Thanasi Kokkinakis, at a Grand Slam after his first-round victory at the US Open, while Stefanos Tsitsipas sensationally crashed out in his opener.
It was a straightforward victory for Kyrgios as he swept past Kokkinakis in straight sets, 6-4 6-4 7-6(4), and he will now be able to take on opponents with more relish in New York.
Perhaps surprisingly, the duo - who customarily play doubles together, winning their home Australian Open back in January - were meeting for the first time ever in a tour singles match, and it was clear for all to see how Kyrgios did not enjoy facing his compatriot on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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But the No. 23 seed put those feelings aside to advance through to the second round at Flushing Meadows where he will face Benjamin Bonzi, who claimed a five-set victory over fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 7-6(1), 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2.
“When we both saw the draw, it was a nightmare, honestly,” Kyrgios said of facing Kokkinakis.
“We never want to play each other. I’ve just got so much respect for him. I can’t wait to get out there and play doubles with him on the right side of the net.
“We just know each other’s games like the back of our hand. We’ve played together since we were about nine years old. He knows my game well. I know his game extremely well.
"I just played the bigger points well early on. We’re going to play each other, hopefully, never again.”

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis before their match at the US Open

Image credit: Getty Images

Kyrgios has been tipped to make another strong run in New York after his incredible exploits at Wimbledon where only now seven-time champion Novak Djokovic could halt his progress in the final.

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As for Tsitsipas, it was a disastrous evening for the Greek as he slumped to a 6-0 6-1 3-6 7-5 defeat to Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan.
Remarkably, the fourth seed capitulated to a 6-0 5-0 scoreline early on and won just seven total points in the opening set as he struggled to get any feel or rhythm with his groundstrokes.
It took nine match points for the Colombian to close out a famous victory, but he did in the end to leave the fans on Louis Armstrong Stadium utterly stunned by not just the result, but also the one-sided nature of the match.
"He dominated the match," Tsitsipas said post-match. "I just couldn't get into it."
Galan was unsurprisingly delighted: “Definitely one of the best moments of my career.
“Definitely the best match of my career, not only because of the circumstances, but also the opponent. I’m really happy.”
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