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Nick Kyrgios struggles with breathing during first win at Japan Open

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Nick Kyrgios has revealed he had to overcome breathing problems before breezing into the second round of the Japan Open.

Australia’s Wimbledon finalist was back in impressive form on the court in Tokyo, while in his home city of Canberra his lawyer was in court applying to have his charge for alleged assault dismissed on mental health grounds.

The tennis star, who is set to appear in person at the next hearing in February, saved a break point in his opening game before going on to an emphatic 6-3, 6-1 victory against Taiwan’s Chun-Hsin Tseng in the Ariake Colosseum.

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But Australia’s number one admitted afterwards that his early struggle in the 66-minute rout had been caused by a touch of breathlessness as well as ring rust in his first tournament since his US Open quarterfinal exit.

Telling reporters how he had found it difficult to breathe because of the high humidity and different air conditions compared to back home, Kyrgios also noted how the courts were speeding up — something he feels will work to his advantage as he seeks his second title of the year.

Kyrgios has to be careful, having also struggled with asthma at the start of the season, with the condition forcing him to pull out of a warm-up match before the Australian Open.

In Tokyo, though, the best server on tour this year dropped only four more points on his own delivery after his first-game struggles, winning 25 of 29 points on first serve.

“I played really solid,” the fifth seed said.

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