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Nick Kyrgios cruises past Hoang at US Open

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30th August, 2019
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Nick Kyrgios has brushed off another row with tennis officials to give Australia three players in the last 32 of the US Open men’s singles.

Kyrgios staged a pre-match protest over a logo dispute before eventually toeing the line and notching a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over French wildcard Antoine Hoang.

The walking controversy took to The Grandstand court with the words “Just Do You” emblazoned on the back of his raised collar.

But, in an apparent dress-code breach, the tournament supervisor instructed Kyrgios to change the shirt after the warm-up.

Kyrgios was initially having none of it, demanding to see the rule book.

“I’m not going to play until you show me the rule,” he fumed.

“I want to know the rule. I want to see the rule.

“I’ve seen shirts worse.”

Kyrgios, already facing two ATP investigations for his conduct during and after his previous two matches in Cincinnati and New York, reluctantly agreed to play with his collar down – then came out firing.

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The 28th seed broke Hoang, the world No.104 and making his US Open debut, in the very first game of the match and never looked back.

Facing a potential suspension after the season’s final grand slam as the ATP investigates his pair of “major offences”, Kyrgios next plays Russian Andrey Rublev on Saturday for a place in the last 16.

He could meet countryman Alexei Popyrin in the fourth round after the fast-rising 20-year-old continued his superb first full season at the slams with a valiant four-set win over world No.47 Mikhail Kukushkin.

Popyrin fought back from a set and a service break down to equal his charge to the Australian Open third round with a 2-6 7-5 6-3 6-2 victory over the seasoned Kazakh.

Popyrin will play Italian Matteo Berrettini after the 24th seed took out Australian No.3 Jordan Thompson 7-5 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-1.

Thanasi Kokkinakis’s tournament is also over after the luckless star was forced to withdraw from his scheduled centre-court showdown with Rafael Nadal with a recurrence of a pec muscle strain.

Kokkinakis battled for almost four hours on Tuesday to beat Ilya Ivashka in four sets in what was the 24-year-old’s first main-draw win at a grand slam since the 2015 French Open.

“I guess I’m just not ready for grand slams yet. It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” Kokkinakis said.

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But Alex de Minaur joined Kyrgios and Popyrin in the third round with an impressive 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over seded Chilean Christan Garin.

Seventh seed Kei Nishikori, a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2014, stands between de Minaur and a spot in the second week at a major for the first time.