“Emotional”, motivated, Nick Kyrgios ends a three-year title drought and surpasses Yoshihito Nishioka at the Citi Open

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WASHINGTON — As Nick Kyrgios ran through a long list of people he wanted to thank on Sunday after ending a three-year title drought by claiming the trophy at the site of his last triumph, the Citi Open, he mentioned match officials.

Then, catching up, the Wimbledon finalist added with a knowing smile: “The relationship is always difficult with the referees.”

Kyrgios extended the best streak of his career and gave another performance that will make him someone to take seriously at the US Open, saving the only break point he faced in the final en route to victory. 6-4, 6-3 on Yoshihito. Nishioka at the Citi Open.

“I feel like my motivation is much higher than before. … There is a small window; I should take advantage of it,” said Kyrgios, who dropped onto his back on the court blue at the end of the match, then returned to this stadium in the evening to team up with Jack Sock for a doubles trophy as well, beating French Open finalists Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 7-5, 6-4.

“I don’t care what people say about my tennis, like ‘Always disrespectful to the sport,’ all that, all that,” said Kyrgios, the first man to win Washington’s singles and doubles events the same year. “I know deep down I really try to do it my way. I know I inspire millions of people and I just play for them.”

Kyrgios’ seventh tour-level singles championship came where his sixth came in 2019 – on the hard courts of the US capital during a tune-up for Flushing Meadows.

“It’s just very emotional for me,” Kyrgios said.

As usual when Kyrgios is on his game, the serve led the way: he hit 12 aces and won 22 of 25 first-serve points. He won all nine of his service games against Nishioka, making it 64-for-64 in the tournament, finishing the week by saving all 10 of his opponents’ break points.

The only one Kyrgios had to face on Sunday came at 3-2 in the first set, and Kyrgios dismissed him via a volley winner.

“I couldn’t understand his service game,” said Nishioka, who ranked Kyrgios No.1 on tour in this category and also praised the 27-year-old Australian for being “more focused” than at the start. of her career.

Kyrgios managed to beat Japan’s Nishioka, who is ranked 96th and knocked out top seed Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals, on three occasions – in the opening match of each set and again in the last game of the match.

This marks a somewhat unusual consistency for Kyrgios, who is fresh off winning his first Grand Slam final at the All England Club, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios earned no ranking points for that performance – no points were awarded to anyone at Wimbledon – but the singles title in Washington will move him from 63rd to 37th, within earshot of a possible classification at the US Open.

The game starts at Flushing Meadows on August 29. It is less than a week after a hearing in Australia is scheduled for a charge of common assault against Kyrgios, whose former girlfriend claimed he caught her.

Kyrgios’ victory was broadcast on Tennis Channel, which hijacked the women’s final from its main station and instead aired pickleball – due to what tournament chairman Mark Ein described as a prior engagement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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