Team Kyrgios leading the Aussie charge in US Open
AFTER beating world No.1 Rafael Nadal on his way to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, Nick Kyrgios will have the chance to show he is no "one-slam wonder" when he takes on Russia's Mikhael Youzhny in the first round of the US Open tonight.
Playing with the expectation of being tagged the "future of Australian tennis", the 19-year-old from Canberra acknowledged he faced a tough challenge against the 21st seed who was a quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows last year.
Kyrgios also warned the Australian public to be patient, saying he had a long way to go and the transition from junior tennis to the seniors wasn't something that happened quickly very often.
Kyrgios will be one of three Australians in action on day at the Open, with Matthew Ebden to take on unseeded German Tobias Kamke and qualifier Anastasia Rodionova to meet Italy's Camila Giorgi.
The seven other Aussies in the main draw - Leyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, Marinko Matosevic, Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Jarmila Gajdosova and Ashleigh Barty - will have to wait until day two to start their campaigns.
The centre court action on day one will kick off with a women's match between No.2 seed Simona Halep and American wildcard Danielle Rose Collins.
That will be followed by a clash between the oldest player on tour, 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm and 34-year-old American Venus Williams.
The night session will start with all-Russian affair between Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko, before men's top seed Novak Djokovic launches his bid for a second US Open against little-known Argentinean Diego Schwartzman.
The Serbian, who won the tournament in 2011 and was runner-up in the past two years - to Andy Murray in 2012 and Rafael Nadal in 2013 - has not been in great form in the lead-up, failing to reach the quarter-finals in his past two tournaments.
Asked whether his recent marriage and the impending birth of his first son had distracted him, Djokovic admitted his focus had definitely changed since Wimbledon.
"Without a doubt, life changes," the seven-time grand slam winner said. "You know, priorities change. My priorities, you know, my family, my wife, my future kid. You know, tennis is not definitely not No.1 anymore."
Despite that, Tattsbet has installed Djokovic the $2.40 favourite to lift the trophy, with Roger Federer ($3.75) and Andy Murray ($7) the only other players in single figures.
The tournament has marked the turning point in the careers of several players over the years, and that could prove to be the case again, potentially with rising stars Grigor Dimitrov ($17) and Milos Raonic ($21) after both made the semi-finals at Wimbledon.