Kyrgios Wins Citi Open Again; Samsonova wins women’s title

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WASHINGTON — As Nick Kyrgios ran through a long list of people he wanted to thank on Sunday after ending a three-year title drought by claiming the trophy at the site of his last triumph, the Citi Open, he mentioned match officials.

Then, catching up, the Wimbledon finalist added with a knowing smile: “The relationship is always difficult with the referees.”

Kyrgios extended the best streak of his career and gave another performance that will make him someone to take seriously at the US Open, saving the only break point he faced in the final en route to victory. 6-4, 6-3 on Yoshihito. Nishioka at the Citi Open.

“I feel like my motivation is much higher than before. … There is a small window; I should take advantage of it,” said Kyrgios, who collapsed on the blue pitch at the end of the match, then returned to this stadium in the evening to team up with Jack Sock for a doubles trophy as well, beating French Open runners-up Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 7-5, 6-4.

“I don’t care what people say about my tennis, like ‘Always disrespectful to the sport,’ all that, all that,” said Kyrgios, the first man to win Washington’s singles and doubles events the same year. “I know that deep down I really try to do it my way. I know I inspire millions of people and I play just for them.

Earlier on Sunday, Liudmila Samsonova claimed her second career WTA title by beating sixth-seeded Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Citi Open women’s final.

Kyrgios’ seventh tour-level singles championship came where his sixth came in 2019 – on the hard courts of the US capital during a tune-up for Flushing Meadows.

As usual when Kyrgios is on his game, the serve led the way: he hit 12 aces and won 22 of 25 first-serve points. He won all nine of his service games against Nishioka, making it 64 for 64 in the tournament, concluding the week by saving all 10 break points for his opponents. The only one Kyrgios had to face on Sunday came at 3-2 in the first set, and Kyrgios dismissed him via a volley winner.

“I couldn’t understand his service game,” said Nishioka, who ranked Kyrgios No.1 on tour in this category and also praised the 27-year-old Australian for being “more focused” than at the start. of her career.

Kyrgios managed to beat Japan’s Nishioka, who is ranked 96th and knocked out top seed Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals, on three occasions – in the opening match of each set and again in the last game of the match.

This marks a somewhat unusual consistency for Kyrgios, who is fresh off winning his first Grand Slam final at the All England Club, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios earned no ranking points for that performance – no points were awarded to anyone at Wimbledon – but the singles title in Washington will move him from 63rd to 37th, within earshot of a possible classification at the US Open.

“Hopefully,” Kyrgios said, “I can keep this momentum going.”

The game starts at Flushing Meadows on August 29. This is less than a week after a hearing in Australia is scheduled for an assault allegation against Kyrgios.

Samsonova is a 23-year-old Russian who reached a career-best ranking of 25th in May but is currently 60th after having to sit out part of the season, including Wimbledon, due to her country’s attack on Ukraine. She used a powerful serve that hit 119 mph against Kanepi to force her way through the bracket in the hard-court tournament, including a win over defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

Samsonova’s other championship came last year at a grass-court tournament in Berlin. Kanepi, a 37-year-old Estonian, was seeking her first trophy since 2013. She left the court for a third-set medical stoppage on Sunday due to what she said was an abdominal muscle problem.

“I guess a lot of games and a lot of service this week,” Kanepi said.

Kyrgios’ victory was broadcast on Tennis Channel, which hijacked the women’s final from its main station and instead aired pickleball – because, according to tournament chairman Mark Ein, of a prior engagement.

It was big-serve, fast-hitting tennis between two women with similar styles of play on a humid 90-degree Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) afternoon. Some spectators held umbrellas to provide shade; portable electric fans have been placed next to the line-up seats to give players some respite when making changes; Samsonova held a plastic bag full of ice cream over her head.

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