Nick Kyrgios and Stan Wawrinka returned to Canada today for the triennial Kokkinakis Classic, and in the first set the Australian took an easy lead over the step-slow Swiss in their first-round Rogers Cup match. The standout shot from their 6-1 first set had was one of the fastest groundstrokes you will ever see. Not that I haven’t seen this attempted before: the forehand slap is a characteristic Kyrgios shot, struck so hard and flat as to be indifferent to the outcome, and from my sad, extensive viewing experience it has a roughly 1 in 50 chance of falling in the court. Usually it has a better chance of hitting the net or the back wall. Today it actually behaved, zipping faster than many first serves, barely clearing the net and landing inside the baseline, going faster than most first serves. It’s silly.
Even Stan had to applaud it. Today seems to be one of those rare matches where Kyrgios engages in all the usual tanking-adjacent shenanigans—mimicking other players’ serves, one-handed backhand, tweeners, the works—and actually, maybe accidentally, wins the match in the process.