Kyrgios makes winning return after year out

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Showman Nick Kyrgios pulled victory “out of a hat” yesterday in his first match for a year, rallying from a set down to get his Australian Open preparations off to a winning start.

The enigmatic 25-year-old last performed in February 2020 at the Acapulco Open, before a wrist injury and then the coronavirus pandemic brought his season to a halt.

He opted not to travel for the US or French Opens, but said at the weekend he was mentally refreshed and excited to be back.

The Australian took time to get his groove back against 209th-ranked Frenchman Alexandre Muller, losing the first set, then needing left knee treatment before knuckling down to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) .

“It was a tricky one, I haven’t played a competitive match in about a year and I dealt with a couple of injuries when in quarantine,” he said.

“I just wanted to find my feet. I just somehow pulled it out of a hat, which seems to be the story of my career, so just happy to get through. The body feels okay.”