Australian Nick Kyrgios, coming off a scintillating run to the ATP title in Acapulco, lost his opening match at the ATP Indian Wells Masters to German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
A break of serve in each set was enough to give Kohlschreiber, ranked 39th in the world a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 33rd-ranked Kyrgios.
Kyrgios had captured his first ATP title in more than a year when he lifted the Mexico Open trophy, beating three top-10 players along the way in world number two Rafael Nadal, No. 9 John Isner of the United States and, in the final, third-ranked German Alexander Zverev.
Kyrgios’s title run in Mexico wasn’t without controversy, with Nadal praising the mercurial Aussie’s talent while also charging he “lacks respect for the public, the opponent and for himself.”
Kyrgios shrugged off those comments and said Saturday he’d put the good and bad of Acapulco behind him.
“Honestly, I’m over that now,” Kyrgios said, adding that he was mentally ready for his Indian Wells opener but just didnt’ play well.
“I was feeling good. I had, like, five days to kind of find my feet in practice and stuff,” he said. “I didn’t really have a problem getting up. I just didn’t play well today.”
Some of that, he said, was down to Kohlschreiber.
“He’s an incredible competitor,” Kyrgios said. “He knows how to win tennis matches. I didn’t play my best tennis today, but on certain points where I maybe had a little sniff or a little chance to get into the match … he came up with a really good shot to break me in the first set.
“He had an unbelievable backhand cross pass, and we played a really long point … Just a tough match.”