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Kyrgios wins, O'Connell worries Murray

3 minute read

Nick Kyrgios has moved into the second round in Stuttgart but Chris O'Connell is out despite taking an early lead against former world No.1 Andy Murray.

NICK KYRGIOS. Picture: Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios is chuffed to have opened his 2022 grasscourt campaign with a straight-sets win over rising Czech Jiri Lehecka at the Boss Open in Stuttgart.

In a promising display three weeks out from Wimbledon, Kyrgios blasted 18 aces and didn't drop any of his 11 service games in a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory in 77 minutes.

The match was Kyrgios's first since a semi-final loss on clay to Reilly Opelka in Houston in April and his first grasscourt outing since his second-round retirement at Wimbledon last year.

"I obviously feel very comfortable on the grass but you never know when someone's feeling very confident like my opponent today," he said.

"It's never easy to return on grass and I thought I just made a couple of returns at the right time.

"Obviously served really, really well. Just excited to get through. A win's a win. I'll take it and just get ready for my next match."

That will be against either Lorenzo Musetti or Nikoloz Basilashvili, who resume on Wednesday with the Georgian ahead 7-5 4-2.

"Definitely a tricky one," Kyrgios said after improving to 10-4 on the year.

"Musetti's obviously a young gun and Basil's someone who can really hit the ball quite hard.

"So I'm going to have to be serving very well."

While Kyrgios marched on, fellow Australian Chris O'Connell crashed out but not before giving three-time grand slam winner Andy Murray a scare in Stuttgart.

The Sydney qualifier took a shock 3-0 lead in their first-round match on Tuesday but the former world No.1 came back to win 6-4 6-3.

O'Connell, the world No.116, was coming off a run to the quarter-finals at Surbiton where he lost to compatriot and eventual champion Jordan Thompson.

He also lost to Murray in Dubai in February, though then he took the dual Wimbledon champion to three sets.

In other matches, Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker upset American Maxime Cressy 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2).

The 19-year-old next faces top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Arthur Rinderknech surprised compatriot Ugo Humbert, the eighth seed, 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

In s-Hertogenbosch, Australian Matthew Ebden completed a 6-2 6-3 win over Zizou Bergs to come through qualifying before losing to Tim van Rijyhoven 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (11-9) in just under two hours in the first round.

James Duckworth was 4-6 1-3 down to veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon when rain, then darkness, meant the suspension of play until Wednesday.

Two seeds are out. No.7 seed Tommy Paul lost to US compatriot Brandon Nakashima. Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori beat No.6 seeded Dutch local Botic van der Zandschulp.

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