Six-time ATP champion Nick Kyrgios admitted clay is not his preffered surface but added he was happy he was able to win his first match on the surface since 2019. On Tuesday, Kyrgios played his first match on clay since 2019.
Kyrgios, who took a wildcard into Houston, recovered from a set down to beat American Mackenzie McDonald 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the Houston first round. "Clay is obviously not my preferred surface, but I just served really well and started playing more aggressive and just found another gear," Kyrgios said after the match, per the ATP Tour website.
"I did slip and slide a little bit, but my game actually suits the clay quite well. It's a great atmosphere out here and the crowd's pretty involved, so I'm looking forward to continuing to progress through the event."
Kyrgios gets his revenge over McDonald
Kyrgios and McDonald met for the first time last summer in Washington.
Back then, McDonald claimed a straight-set win over Kyrgios. "[Mackenzie] is an amazing player," Kyrgios added. "He's a tricky one because he doesn't make too many errors." It was McDonald who made a posiitve start to the match as the American broke Kyrgios in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead in the first.
McDonald didn't allow Kyrgios a single break point in the rest of the set as he served out for the opener in the 10th game. After winning the first set, McDonald had a chance to start the second set with an early break but missed out on two break point chances in the third game.
McDonald paid the price for missing out on two consecutive break points as Kyrgios claimed his first break of the match in the fourth game. Kyrgios then routinely held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider.
After winning the second set, Kyrgios broke McDonald in the opening game of the third set and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to complete a comeback win.