Kyrgios And Stosur Confront Australian Open Fates
For the third straight year, Nick Kyrgios is through to the Australian Open second round as Samantha Stosur is forced to confront a painful loss.
How the 33-year-old must lament how easy her younger compatriot finds the Melbourne Park stage.
In five attempts, Kyrgios has never lost an opening encounter.
That continued on Monday night when the world No.17 strolled to a 6-1 6-2 6-4 defeat of world No.98 Rogerio Dutra Silva.
"I know I'm hitting the ball well," Kyrgios said.
"But to go out there in front of the crowd again, just trying to play well, I was a bit nervous.
"Still managed to get it done."
Kyrgios heads into a second-round clash with Viktor Troicki - who denied locals an all-Australian match-up by beating Alex Bolt in five sets.
"He's tricky," Kyrgios said of the Serbian, ranked 65.
"He's got a good serve. He has a great backhand. He's a journeyman. He's been on the tour for a long time and won a lot of matches.
"There's not many people that come back from two sets to love down and win against an Aussie in Australia. He's a tough competitor."
As Kyrgios prepares to emulate his electrifying quarter-final run of 2015, Stosur was left to ponder another lost opportunity.
Despite carrying the can for Australian tennis for so long, the Queenslander has never reached the last eight at her home slam.
She had a match point against Monica Puig on Monday but lost 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in another heartbreaking defeat.
Stosur has had 16 cracks at the tournament. In 10 of those, the world No.42 been out in the opening two rounds.
"Everyone else makes a bigger deal about it than what I do," she said.
"But, look, I was one point away. I'd be in the second round if I won one more point.
"I do everything I can to try to have a better result here in Australia. For whatever reason, it just won't happen for me.
"I'll come back next year and do it all over again.
In the meantime, Stosur will reboot for her favourite event - the French Open - where she's reached the semi-finals four times in the last decade.
"My schedule is heavily based around trying to play as much as I can on the clay," she said.
"There's three massive tournaments for us in Madrid, Rome and the French ... that's certainly a target.
"Before that, you got Indian Wells and Miami, which I think I can play well on those surfaces.
"The next little bit of time is probably a good time for me to get excited and try and play my best tennis over there."