Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has gone down in the final of the Estoril Open in Portugal, beaten 6-3 6-2 by Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
The 20-year-old was competing in his first ATP World Tour decider but was no match for the fifth-seed on clay, who claimed the result in a little over an hour.
It was the first meeting of the pair since Kyrgios saved a record nine match points in his second round win over Gasquet’s at Wimbledon last year.
“There was definitely a bit of pressure out there,” Kyrgios said after the match. “He was way too good for me and I need to get better.”
Playing in his first tournament for two months after returning from injury, the win is Gasquet’s 12th career title and third on clay.
“I am really happy with the victory,” Gasquet said. “To feel no pain, it’s a good thing for me.”
While disappointed not to put up stronger resistance, Kyrgios has gone a long way to ensuring he will be seeded at the upcoming French Open and Wimbledon grand slams by reaching the final.
Ranked 46th at the start of the tournament, Kyrgios has risen to a provisional mark of No. 33 – one spot shy of a grand slam seeding.
Compatriot Bernard Tomic is already assured of a seeding at Roland Garros, which gets under way in a fortnight’s time, courtesy of his world No.27 ranking.