The draw has really opened up for Nick Kyrgios in New York.
The draw has really opened up for Nick Kyrgios in New York.

Opportunity beckons Kyrgios .. if he keeps his head

Once the dust settles and tennis officials likely opt against booting Nick Kyrgios out of the US Open, the sport's most divisive figure may never get a better chance to reach his maiden grand slam semi-final.

Largely lost in Kyrgios' latest brush with trouble was the carnage unfolding elsewhere at Flushing Meadows that has left the Aussie No.1 as the third-highest-ranked player remaining in his decimated quarter.

But French 13th seed Gael Monfils and Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettinni are hardly names that will send shudders through Kyrgios as he attempts to finally come good on his grand slam potential.

The 24-year-old hasn't made the last eight of a major since the second of two as a teenager almost five years ago.

Kyrgios knows the door is ajar, even if he says he doesn't care about the early exits of top-10 trio Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista-Agut, among seeds, from his section.

"Everyone in a grand slam can play a decent level of tennis so regardless of who I play I know I can beat anyone on the other side of the net," he said ahead of his scheduled second-round clash with French qualifier Antoine Hoang, who Kyrgios admits to knowing little about.

"I know he's a young guy, he's been playing well.

"Nothing will change my end. I'm going to go out, I'm going to serve big and play big and see how it goes."

Kyrgios was among five Australians to venture to the second round of the men's singles this year - and among four set for day four action.

"When I see these results, it makes me want to push harder but it makes me excited that Australia right now, the depth's pretty scary," Kyrgios said.

But the leader of the pack is particularly pleased for his former Australian Open-winning doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, whose opening win over Ilya Ivashka was his first at a slam since the 2015 French Open.

"Obviously Thanasi's massive," Kyrgios said.

"It's just so good to see someone I grew up with, who's been dealt unbelievably unlucky injuries - he's had to deal with so many rough patches in his career - to see him back.

"As soon as I saw the result, I was so happy for him. I sent him a video and it was just so good to see him pull up well. I actually saw him after the match and he looked like his body was holding up, and he just looked happy.

"And obviously Thommo (Jordan Thompson) to beat (Joao) Sousa in straight sets, that's really, really good.

"And (Alexei) Popyrin, he's going to have a great career. He plays big, he likes to keep things on his term - big serve and he hits the ball big.

"So I wasn't surprised when I saw him beat (Federico) Delbonis today on these type of courts."