Nick Kyrgios “has a terrific hunger to win,” says Nishioka.

Yoshito Nishioka’s campaign in Washington came to an end just before the finish line. Predictably, the Japanese tennis player lost to Nick Kyrgios, who had resurrected himself for the Championships final and was essentially an entirely different player from the one we simultaneously loved and despised.

Nishioka was astounded by the Australian talent’s body language and, more importantly, by the perplexed management at the most crucial moments of the match. Prior to the 500 in Washington, Nishioka had never even advanced past the quarterfinals in a major circuit competition.

Kyrgios is beginning to stand out more and more in the turmoil thanks to certain elements. “He talks a lot when things are difficult. Yet he consistently maintains his composure and plays honorably on the floor. I believe that he currently has a strong will to win and that his mentality has significantly improved over the past several years.”

Nick Kyrgios “has a terrific hunger to win,” says Nishioka.

Later, he added: “Reading his serve is difficult since, in my opinion, he has the best serve on the Tour and is the most difficult player to break.

He glides well from the baseline, and following the opening stroke, he consistently succeeds in controlling the exchange. His game is completely finished.” The Japanese tennis player, who has a Special Exemption and may thus begin directly from the main draw, will face Benoit Paire after the triumphant interlude in the Capitoline city with an eye toward Felix Auger Aliassime, the number six seed and presumably landlord.

On the other hand, Kyrgios faces the difficult challenge of Sebastian Baez. The Australian prodigy turned over four straight losses last year against just one win, and that came against Lloyd Harris in the ATP 250 in Atlanta.

One year later, we are essentially discussing a player who, given Djokovic‘s near total absence from New York and Nadal‘s questionable physical condition, falls inside a very small group of favorites.

Now that the US Open in New York is approaching, Nick Kyrgios will have another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform well.