Nick Kyrgios: "One of the most difficult matches I've ever played,"

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Despite his outstanding performance in the 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) triumph over his friend and fellow countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of the US Open, Nick Kyrgios called it "one of the most unpleasant matches I've played."

In the opening statement of the post-match media conference, which began after midnight local time, Kyrgios characterised the encounter as "perhaps one of the most unpleasant matches I've played in my career."

I tried to ignore his body from the beginning and focus solely on the tennis ball. I made a conscious effort to avoid his gaze. And I believe it benefited me.

In light of their Grand Blow doubles combo, Kyrgios explained how connected the Australian couple is off the court.

To be honest, I feel like Thanasi is one of two or three players I'll keep in touch with after tennis till I probably pass away. Just really difficult," he added.

I think he had a great chance to advance in the draw given the condition of his body, how well he is holding up physically, and his determination to play match after match.

"What is is what is. The first few sets were almost flawless, and I thought I handled it fairly professionally.

But, he claimed, it wasn't easy to mentally "block out" his adversary.

The 23rd player at Flushing Meadows, he shares a room with Kokkinakis at several tournaments on the tour, revealed that after the match, he and his close friend enjoyed a special moment in the locker room.

We share lockers, so after the match, Kyrgios approached Thanasi and said, "Look, it was the most awkward I've ever felt on a tennis court."

Following US Open legend Serena Williams in what might have been her last match before retiring, Kyrgios was given the honour of competing on Arthur Ashe Stadium on the first night.