Sport Tennis Ailing Kyrgios sets up blockbuster match-up with Beijing victory

Ailing Kyrgios sets up blockbuster match-up with Beijing victory

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios set up an enticing showdown with Mischa Zverev with a quickfire win at the China Open in Beijing. Photo: Getty
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Nick Kyrgios has overcome illness to reach the second round of the China Open with a straight-sets win over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

In his first tour-level match since a shattering Davis Cup semi-final loss to David Goffin, Kyrgios cleaned up the Georgian 6-1 6-2 in less than an hour on Tuesday to set up an enticing return bout with Mischa Zverev.

Kyrgios was suspended from the ATP Tour after infamously tanking against the German at last year’s Shanghai Masters.

The pair haven’t met since, though fellow Australian Bernard Tomic was fined a Wimbledon-record $US15,000 ($A19,185) after feigning injury and admitting to being “a little bit bored” against Zverev during a first-round loss in June at the All England Club.

At one point, Kyrgios looked like the rematch wouldn’t eventuate this week.

After racing through the first set in 26 minutes, the 22-year-old complained of feeling sick in the stomach and suffering asthma early in the second.

He called for the tournament doctor and required courtside treatment.

“I was feeling fine and then, all of a sudden, one game,” he said before taking a pill and resuming to hold to love the next game and then breaking Basilashvili for a third time to surge ahead 3-2.

Another break and then his 12th ace and the match was all over after just 55 minutes.

Seeded eighth in Beijing, Kyrgios could face Goffin’s Belgian teammate Steve Darcis in the quarter-finals if he atones against Zverev.

Gavrilova into third round of China Open

Daria Gavrilova has positioned herself nicely for a run at the China Open with an upset win over US Open semi-finalist Coco Vandeweghe.

Her Australian No.1 ranking under siege from Ashleigh Barty, Gavrilova responded with a significant second-round victory over the Pat Cash-coached Vandeweghe.

Gavrilova was leading 6-3 2-0 on Tuesday when the seeded American retired with a back injury.

The 23-year-old next plays Czech Barbora Strycova – a 6-4 6-2 victor over Julia Goerges – for the right to take the path of eliminated top seed and world No.1 Garbine Muguruza.

Every win in Beijing is huge for Gavrilova and Barty as they chase spots in the season-ending Elite Trophy, which will feature players ranked from ninth to 20th who missed out on the eight-player WTA Championships in Singapore.

Gavrilova and Barty – fresh from her charge to last week’s Wuhan Open final – are separated by just one place in the rankings at 22nd and 23rd in the world respectively.

But Barty’s breakout season – which has also included a maiden WTA title in Kuala Lumpur – has helped the former Wimbledon junior champion to 19th in the Race to Singapore, above Gavrilova in 22nd spot.

Barty faces third seed Elina Svitolina on Wednesday, with the winner to meet Vesnina for a place in the quarter-finals.