Kyrgios was undone by Farah and Cabal again.
Kyrgios was undone by Farah and Cabal again.

Farah thwarts Kyrgios again in Cincinnati

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been stopped in their tracks by some familiar faces as Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal toppled them for the second time in as many weeks.

After an at-times tumultuous relationship, Kyrgios and Greek star Tsitsipas first joined forces as a doubles pairing in the first round at the Citi Open in Washington late last month.

But as happened on that occasion, they were thwarted by the world number one pair of Farah and Cabal 6-1 7-6 (10-8) in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday morning (AEST).

Unfortunately for the Aussie, his new-found partnership with 20-year-old Tsitsipas hasn't proved successful when it comes to results but at least their personal relationship has certainly improved.

Kyrgios has previously poked fun at Tsitsipas's eccentric ways on social media but the two have formed a bond since stepping onto the court as friends rather than foes.

"It's the joy of being with a person who thinks differently and reacts differently," Tsitsipas said recently, per the ATP website. "I would characterise him as someone who likes to amuse.

"I'm very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It's good sometimes to have a change.

"He's entertaining people. Some people love him, some people hate him. I believe we need people like him in the game, otherwise everything becomes too serious. He's fun."

For his part, Kyrgios said his first-hand experience of Tsitsipas's intensity has helped show him how the youngster has been able to rise to No. 7 in the world rankings.

"I thought we were just going to have a 25-minute hitout, roll the arm over, banter a little bit. Before I know it, we're an hour in, playing singles games. I'm dripping," Kyrgios said of an on-court warm-up in Washington.

"That shows how hard he works. He's out there every day, super professional, putting in the hours. It's obvious why he's good. You can see how polished his game is when he's playing."

The pair are enjoying being on the same side of the net for a change.
The pair are enjoying being on the same side of the net for a change.

MCENROE LAUDS KYRGIOS INCLUSION

Skipper John McEnroe has welcomed Kyrgios's inclusion as Team World's X-factor for the third edition of the Laver Cup.

In-form Kyrgios has joined Wimbledon finalists Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic, fellow mainstay John Isner and young gun Denis Shapovalov in Team World for this year's annual team's event in Geneva next month.

Team Europe, captained by McEnroe's great rival Bjorn Borg, has won the first two Laver Cups and will again be led by living legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Federer has a flawless 10-from-10 singles record in the competition and beat Kyrgios in a thrilling third-set tie-breaker to secure the trophy in the event's first year in Prague in 2017.

The Laver Cup has been recognised as an official ATP event for the first time in 2019 as two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini join Federer and Nadal in giving Europe a formidable all-top-10 line-up.

McEnroe, though, is confident Kyrgios - who beat Tsitsipas in the Washington final earlier this month - can help lead Team World to an upset win in Switzerland from September 20-22.

"We all know how passionate Nick is about playing for Team World at the Laver Cup, and I'm very happy he'll be joining us again in Geneva," McEnroe said. "Nick's had some fantastic results recently and he always manages to bring his best game to this event, and he absolutely does whatever he can to support the team, both on and off the court.

"He's the ultimate team player. Nick, like me and the rest of the team, is extremely motivated to get the win this year.

"We are not going to Geneva just to make up the numbers - we are going there to bring home that magnificent trophy."

A relative grand slam underachiever, Kyrgios, a huge American basketball fan, thrives in the team environment.

"I've always said that the Laver Cup is my favourite week of the year, and how much it means to me to get around the team and play for something bigger than just myself," he said.

"We've had some heartbreaking losses over the past couple of years and it means the world to me to have the chance to get out there again with the team and try to get the win for Team World."

With Darren Walton, AAP

News Corp Australia


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