Stepanek might coach me one day, Kyrgios says

Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:24am EDT
 
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By John Stonestreet

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian 15th seed Nick Kyrgios outmaneuvered Radek Stepanek in four sets on Tuesday, saying he could imagine a professional partnership developing with his opponent once the gritty Czech veteran finally hangs up his racket.

Kyrgios, currently without a coach and to whom Stepanek has already passed on playing tips, kept both his power game and his notorious temper in check in their first-round clash.

He controlled much of the match as he moved Stepanek around with three quarter-pace groundstrokes fired deep into the corners.

But after faltering in a marathon third set tiebreak in which the Czech saved two match points, the Australian admitted he was relieved to come through in four.

"That's a nightmare first round for anyone at Wimbledon. No one wants to play Radek here," he told reporters after his 6-4 6-3 6-7(9) 6-1 win.

At 37, wildcard Stepanek was bidding to become the oldest man to win a grand slam singles match since Jimmy Connors reached the second round of the U.S. Open in 1992.

Playing to a soundtrack of encouragement from the Antipodean glee club of green and gold-clad fans that follow Australian players around the circuit, Kyrgios won the first set with a service break in the final game.

Also watched by a more illustrious compatriot, octogenarian three-times grand slam singles winner Neale Fraser, he then had the chance to wrap things up in straight sets.   Continued...

 
Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 28/6/16 Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action against Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge