KYLE EDMUND was blasted out of Queen’s by king of serve Nick Kyrgios.
The British No 1 did the best he could against the Australian who had already put Andy Murray out of the Fever-Tree Championships.
But Kyrgios hit 32 aces and many more unreturnable serves, offering Edmund his first break point only in the final game.
The Brit fought hard but his outrageously talented opponent was well worth the 7-6 6-7 6-3 victory.
With both men serving well, it was hardly a match for the purists.
Kyrgios sprinkled a bit of stardust on proceedings by playing catch with a member of the crowd, hitting between-the-leg shots just for the hell of it and generally having a good time.
But the Australian was more focused and consistent than he had been in beating Murray and in the end Edmund was unable to stay with him.
One mistake in the first-set tiebreak cost Edmund dear as Kyrgios took it 7-3.
But the Brit showed grit in the second set. His opponent continued to send down a barrage of unreturnable serves and was able to engineer four break points of his own.
But Edmund saved them all, winning the points rather than Kyrgios losing them.
Edmund twice let slip a mini-break advantage in the second tiebreak, but converted his first set point.
The pressure of having so few opportunities on the Kyrgios serve surely took its toll, though, and there was at last a break of serve in the fourth game of the decider when the Brit struggled for first serves.
Kyrgios was in no mood to let the advantage slip.
In the next game Edmund put two first serves from the Australian back in play in a row to move 0-30 ahead.
But the Brit returned only one of the next four serves and on that occasion, the Aussie whipped a forehand crosscourt which he could not get back.
Only on his first match point did Kyrgios show signs of nerves, hitting a wild forehand wide.
But he saved the only break point against him with a dropshot as Edmund slipped and fell to the ground in his attempt to return.
After a service winner, Kyrgios converted the second match point by proving there is much more to his game than serving as he won one of the match’s rare rallies with a sweet backhand down the line winner.