VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Nick Kyrgios was knocked out of the Valencia Open in the first round after he was beaten by German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday.
The Australian got off to a quick start in the opening set, breaking Brands in his opening service game, as he raced into a 4-1 lead. However, a loss of concentration saw him drop his serve twice in succession and he soon found himself 5-4 down. The 170th-ranked Brands capitalized on a series of half-hearted shots from Kyrgios to take the first set.
Kyrgios leveled the match after Brands twice in a four-game run in the second set, and looked to have the momentum going into the final set.
With both men holding serve throughout the deciding set, it came down to a tiebreak. The German produced the more consistent tennis to secure five match points at 6-2. Kyrgios saved the first with a second serve ace but was powerless in the next point as Brands served out the match with an ace.
“I think the key today was to stay calm and just to focus on the…