Nick Kyrgios on Monday said he hopes he “never again” has to face his good friend, Thanasi Kokkinakis, at a Grand Slam after his first-round victory at the U. S. Open.

It was a straightforward victory for Kyrgios as he swept past Kokkinakis in straight sets, 6-4 6-4 7-6(4), and he will now be able to take on opponents with more relish in New York.

Perhaps surprisingly, the duo — who customarily play doubles together, winning their home Australian Open back in January — were meeting for the first time ever in a tour singles match.

It was clear for all to see how Kyrgios did not enjoy facing his compatriot on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But the number 23 seed put those feelings aside to advance through to the second round at Flushing Meadows where he will face Benjamin Bonzi.

Bonzi on the other hand, claimed a five-set victory over fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 7-6(1), 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2.

“When we both saw the draw, it was a nightmare, honestly,” Kyrgios said of facing Kokkinakis.

“We never want to play each other. I’ve just got so much respect for him. I can’t wait to get out there and play doubles with him on the right side of the net.

“We just know each other’s games like the back of our hand. We’ve played together since we were about nine years old. He knows my game well. I know his game extremely well.

“I just played the bigger points well early on. We’re going to play each other, hopefully, never again.”

Kyrgios has been tipped to make another strong run in New York after his incredible exploits at Wimbledon where only now seven-time champion Novak Djokovic could halt his progress in the final. (Reuters/NAN)