Kuala Lumpur - Australian Marinko Matosevic has produced the first upset in the Malaysian Open on Tuesday when he downed eighth-seeded compatriot Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3) in just over 90 minutes.
Matosevic, 29, who had never played Kyrgios before, found his 19-year-old rival's hard-hitting serve difficult to deal with in the first set, conceding five break points to trail 6-5.
But he countered with some solid groundstrokes to force the set into a tie-break which he eventually clinched 7-4.
Kyrgios, cheered on by the 200-odd crowd because of his Malaysian roots, powered back in the second set to take a 4-2 lead, but Matosevic remained calm and played the experience card by forcing Kyrgios into numerous unforced errors.
Matosevic's powerful and accurate forehand drives to the baseline caught Kyrgios out on many occasions, enabling him to recover and level the match at 5-5.
This prompted a frustrated Kyrgios to smash his racquet on the ground which led to a penalty foul.
Sensing his opponent's agitation, Matosevic, the world number 78, forced a tie-break before sealing victory to move into the second round where he will face Japan's Go Soeda.
Matosevic, whose last match was against Roger Federer in the US Open, was a relieved figure after notching a morale-boosting win against the home crowd favourite.
"This is my first match in over a month since I last played Federer. I am certainly pleased with my performance, especially my serve. I knew it always going to be tough to beat Kyrgios who was seeded, but it worked out well and I'm happy with the win," he said.
Kyrgios, who had made headlines by becoming the first male debutant in a decade to reach the last eight at Wimbledon, acknowledged his opponent's prowess.
"Marinko has certainly improved a lot. I didn't play well today and I know that. Perhaps I will take some rest after this tournament," he said.
Seventh seed Pablo Andujar was also on form as he disposed of Frenchman Gregoire Burquier 6-2, 6-4 in a 74-minute battle.
Meanwhile, 2014 US Open junior singles and doubles champion Omar Jasika was tamed by USA's Rajeev Ram 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
Ram's reward will be a second round match-up against Japan's Kei Nishikori on Wednesday.
Results from day two of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (x denotes seed):
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) bt Philipp Oswald (AUT) 6-1, 6-2
Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner bt (AUT/GER) bt Pablo Cuevas/Santiago Gonzalez (URU/MEX) 6-2, 7-5
James Ward (GBR) bt Philipp Petzschner (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7)
Marinko Matosevic (AUS) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x8) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3)
Rajeev Ram (USA) bt Omar Jasika (AUS) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Go Soeda (JPN) bt Kento Takeuchi (JPN) 6-2, 6-1
Pablo Andujar (ESP x7) bt Gregoire Burquier (FRA) 6-2, 6-4
Philipp Petzschner (GER) bt James Ward (GBR) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5)