Young Australian Nick Kyrgios during his first-round win over Benjamin Becker yesterday.
Young Australian Nick Kyrgios during his first-round win over Benjamin Becker yesterday.

Matosevic goes down fighting in first-round clash

AUSTRALIAN Marinko Matosevic went down swinging with what you could almost call some temper tantrums in his 6-3 5-7 6-2 4-6 6-2 loss to Japan's Kei Nishikori in yesterday's round-one Australian Open duel on Show Court 2.

Matosevic received two warnings for angrily approaching the chair umpire regarding an Aussie spectator, who repeatedly encouraged him by using the nickname "Mad Dog" - a moniker he clearly does not like.

It wasn't just one of his own fans that pushed the world No.56 to the edge yesterday.

The game, which went for three hours and 41 minutes, was played in scorching 40-degree heat.

The fifth set would have worn the Bosnia-Herzegovina-born player down, particularly in the sixth game which went for 13 minutes.

In that same game, Matosevic showed more frustration, tempting another warning and a loss of a point by going to have a drink after Nishikori was forced to change his racket.

Two unforced errors by an exhausted Matosevic in the eighth game of the final set led to the 16th-seed holding to win the match.

Nishikori will now take on Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in round two.

The news wasn't any better for fellow Australian James Duckworth, who lost 6-4 6-4 6-2 to sixth seed Switzerland's Roger Federer.

But like Matosevic, the 133rd-ranked Duckworth put in an impressive effort against the four-time Australian Open victor.

The match went for one hour and 46 minutes, and it wasn't all easy going for the Swiss maestro. Duckworth hit more winners (34) to Federer (30) and more aces (13 to 11).

After a strong start, Storm Sanders lost her first-round match 4-6 6-1 6-4 to Italian Camila Giorgi.

Another Aussie, Jordan Thompson, also made a good start against 20th seed from Poland, Jerzy Janowicz, before losing 1-6 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-1.

Eighteen-year-old and world No.183 Nick Kyrgios, from Canberra, pulled off a stunning 6-3 6-7 6-2 7-6 upset over world No.81 Benjamin Becker, from Belgium.

Italy's Andreas Seppi outlasted veteran Aussie Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 6-3 5-7 5-7 7-5.

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