Australian No.1 Nick Kyrgios’ biggest battle on Monday night was not his opponent but a recurrence of nose bleeds.
The 14th-seed looked to be in a hurry to get off court as he battered Gastao Elias 6-1 6-2 6-2 at Hisense Arena to power into the second round of the Australian Open.
Despite carrying a knee injury into the season-opening grand slam, Kyrgios was more concerned by a bleeding nose that required a medical time-out early in the second set.
The 21-year-old winced in pain after receiving treatment from the trainer but showed no ill-effects as he brushed past Portugal’s world No.81 for the loss of only five games.
“They put some wood in there,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve always had a problem with blood noses. I’ve got bad sinuses, so I get that a lot.
“I don’t know what it is but it makes me sneeze. It’s okay – it helps and it stops the bleeding.”
He took the opening set in just 19 minutes, was up two sets in barely half an hour and wrapped up the match like a man trying make a nine o’clock flick.
“The crowd was awesome today and that’s why I request this court, cause it’s my favourite court. I love getting here,” Kyrgios said.
Earlier on Monday, 27th seed Bernard Tomic sent a message to his critics in a convincing 6-2 6-1 6-4 win over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
Much of the talk surrounding Tomic in the tournament build-up focused on his fitness after the Australian claimed he was “fat” at the Brisbane International.
He revealed he lost almost five kilos before the grand slam, though, and glided around the court in an emphatic victory that took him just 97 minutes to compile.
Tomic won 39 of 44 points on first serve and did not give his opponent a break point, while he smashed 38 winners.
And if there were any doubts about his court coverage, he erased them in the dying stages, producing a stunning winner – which gave him match point – after a lengthy rally.
When asked by The New Daily about his serve, Tomic said: “I was serving at a high percentage. Once I do that, I’m feeling pretty well on court and, you know, playing good tennis and having fun.
“That’s important for anyone, really, that’s got a good serve – to serve well on their day and you get a lot of free points easy.”
Joining Tomic and Kyrgios in the second round is 17-year-old Alex De Minaur, after he came from behind to defeat Austrian Gerald Melzer 5-7 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 to win his debut match at the Australian Open.
The Aussie’s win took three hours and 42 minutes to complete and came despite the fact he trailed 2-5 in the fourth set.
He later said it was “definitely the happiest moment of my life”.
James Duckworth suffered a first-round defeat, succumbing 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 to Italian Paolo Lorenzi, while big-serving Sam Groth also bowed out, going down 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 to Belgium’s Steve Darcis.
In the women’s draw, Aussies Ashleigh Barty and Jaimee Fourlis both posted wins, with the former making use of her wildcard by toppling German Annika Beck 6-4 7-5.
Fourlis beat American Anna Tatishvili 6-4 6-3, but German Mona Barthel was too good for 16-year-old Destanee Aiava, winning 6-3 7-6 (7-4).