Nick Kyrgios set for match with Andy Murray after Hopman Cup win

Nick Kyrgios warmed up for Wednesday’s meeting with Andy Murray by recording an opening-day victory over Alexander Zverev in the Hopman Cup.

The Australian No1, who was fined £16,200 in August for his remarks about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend, recovered from losing the first set 6-4 to take the next two 6-1 6-4 as he beat the German in just over an hour in the mixed teams event in Perth.

The 20-year-old will face the world No2 Murray when Australia Green, one of two teams representing the host nation, play Great Britain in something akin to a rematch of last year’s Davis Cup semi-final.

“I have been looking forward to that for a long time,” said Kyrgios. “I’m going to go and do everything I can to physically prepare for that battle.”

Murray will be partnered by Heather Watson for the tournament, who is being coached by his mother Judy. He knocked Kyrgios out of the Australian, French and US Opens in 2015.

Lleyton Hewitt, weeks away from his retirement, lost as Czech Republic beat the Australia Gold team. Jiri Vesely defeated Hewitt, who will retire after the Australian Open, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 before Karolina Pliskova came from 3-1 down in the second set to beat Jarmila Wolfe Gajdosova 7-5, 6-3. The Czech team won the later mixed doubles 6-2, 7-5 to sweep the match 3-0.

“Jiri is a quality player and deserved to win but it was just good to come out here for the first game of the year and get a tough match,” Hewitt said. “Hopefully I can come out for the rest of the week now and get better from here to get ready for the rest of the summer.”

Hewitt, a two-time grand slam champion and former world No1, has already been named Australia’s Davis Cup captain and will be in charge of the team against the United States in the first round of World Group play from 4-6 March at Kooyong in Melbourne.

Serena Williams and Jack Sock of the United States will kick off their tournament on Monday against Ukraine while Murray’s and Watson’s first assignment will be to get past a French team of Kenny de Schepper and Caroline Garcia.

At the Brisbane International the top-seeded Roger Federer and second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan have first-round byes in the men’s draw, while the defending champion Maria Sharapova could play her first-round match on Tuesday.

Federer might not play until Wednesday and, when he does, he will have the former world No3, Ivan Ljubicic, as his coach for the first time. The 17-time grand slam champion hired the Croat to work alongside his head coach, Severin Luthi, this year after Stefan Edberg opted not to continue with a third year in Federer’s camp.

“What I like about him, he’s very direct. He lets you know what he sees and thinks,” Federer said. “We train very well together. He’s got good insight. We played against each other over 15 times as well so he knows my game very well.”

Powered by article was written by Guardian sport, for The Guardian on Sunday 3rd January 2016 20.57 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010