Nick Kyrgios enjoys strong start to clay season after consecutive wins in Houston

The Australian star managed a first win on clay since 2019 on Tuesday, and followed it up with a straight-set victory in yesterday's round of 16 clash.

Nick Kyrgios is known to be not too fond of playing on clay, but the 26-year-old has returned this season invigorated, and has managed to book a quarter-final spot in Houston.

After unfortunate draws saw him knocked out of the Australian Open and Indian Wells by Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios pieced together a better run in the Miami Open, reaching the round of 16 before bowing out to Italy's Jannik Sinner.

Much of Kyrgios' success this season has come in the doubles tournaments, including his Australian Open title alongside compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis.

However, Kyrgios has also enjoyed some singles success this week in Houston, first battling past America's Mackenzie McDonald over three sets, before beating another American Tommy Paul in straight sets.

Kyrgios' serve proved to be a strong weapon in his match against Paul, as he went on to land 10 aces in a 6-4 6-2 victory.

Having not won a game on clay since 2019 before the tournament, Kyrgios now finds himself in the quarter-finals of the tournament, where he'll face another American on Friday in the shape of Micahel Mmoh.

Currently sat down in No.94 on the world rankings, Kyrgios will be hoping to put together some deep runs throughout the clay season to help soar up the standings.

"This was one of my best ever matches on clay," said Kyrgios after his win over Paul.

Kyrgios also revealed that while he won't compete in this year's French Open, he'll certainly be entering next year's competition.

"Next year I am going to go to Paris. I'm announcing that now, I'm going to the French Open.

"I haven't played that in four years so I'll be back next year.

"My girlfriend just wants to see Paris. I mean, I'll play the French Open as well."

READ MORE: Tennis clay season: Will Novak Djokovic play, can Rafa Nadal dominate and will Emma Raducanu cope?

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