World No. 45 Nick Kyrgios said he was “just happy” to survive the Laslo Djere test as he acknowledged that it wasn’t easy at all since the Serb played well on the big points.
Kyrgios, who is making his Mallorca debut this week, entered the match as the favorite but it was all but an easy win as he had to come back from a set down to beat Djere 5-7 7-6 (1) 7-6 (1).
The second and third sets were pretty tight but the difference was Kyrgios coming up big in back-to-back breaks.
“I’ve played good tie-breaks in my career and I know that if I’m serving well I’ve got a good chance,” Kyrgios said after edging out Djere, as quoted on the ATP website. “He was serving really, really well today and he played the big points really well. I’m just happy to win.”
Kyrgios beats Djere in their first pro match
Kyrgios, 27, and 27-year-old Djere clashed for the first time as pros on Tuesday in Mallorca.
However, the two were not strangers to each other, having clashed many times during their junior career.
“Laslo is a tough competitor,” Kyrgios added. “We grew up together in juniors so I knew he was capable of playing some good tennis. I’m proud of myself for that [win].”
After surviving a tough Djere challenge, Kyrgios has another tough task ahead of him as he plays former Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut.
“Another hard one,” Kyrgios said ahead of the Bautista match. “He’s a great player and he’s a great guy as well. He’s one of my mates on tour and he’s very nice to me.”
Kyrgios has a negative head-to-head versus Bautista Agut as he has won one of their three meetings.
Kyrgios defeated Bautista Agut when they met in Tokyo seven years ago, before losing to the Spaniard at the 2020 ATP Cup and 2021 US Open, respectively.