Kyrgios resumes top-20 quest with ATP win

Nick Kyrgios has resumed his push for a top-20 world ranking with a straight-sets victory over Tseng Chun-Hsin at the Japan Open in Tokyo.

Kyrgios, who had hinted after his painful loss to Karen Khachanov in the US Open quarter-finals he might shut down his season, regrouped to win 6-3 6-1.

The Australian’s victory came on the day his lawyer appeared on his behalf at a court in his home city of Canberra to reveal Kyrgios will apply to have an assault charge against a former girlfriend dismissed on mental health grounds.

Kyrgios is set to appear in person at the next hearing in February.

The big-serving right hander was the only Australian winner, with sixth seed Alex de Minaur beaten 6-3 6-2 by Kwon Soonwoo and Thanasi Kokkinakis falling 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to ninth seed Borna Coric.

In other results, top seed Casper Ruud, who was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the US Open final, admitted his heavy schedule had caught up with him after a 6-3 6-3 loss to Spain’s Jaume Munar.

Britain’s Dan Evans came from a set down to defeat Radu Albot 6-7 (3) 6-1 6-4.

Meanwhile, world No.1 Alcaraz suffered a shock defeat to David Goffin on his return to the ATP Tour at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan.

Alcaraz was playing his first tour event since lifting his maiden grand slam title at the US Open last month and becoming the youngest ever top-ranked men’s player in the world

But the 19-year-old struggled on serve throughout the contest with former top-10 player Goffin, who earned a lucky loser place after falling in qualifying, and was beaten 7-5 6-3.

Remarkably, it was the first match this year in which Alcaraz has failed to win at least a set.

The Spaniard looked a little subdued throughout and made 34 unforced errors, dropping serve five times.

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas fared better, beating Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-4, while Khachanov saw off Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

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