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'The Stalk' a formidable opponent for Nick Kyrgios

At 1.96 metres tall and just 80 kilograms, it's not hard to understand why Benoit Paire is nicknamed ''The Stalk''.

''Very flashy'', ''powerful'', ''brilliant'', but can ''miss the easy'' was how ACT Hall of Famer Wally Masur described the world No. 28.

This is the man Canberra young gun Nick Kyrgios will face in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday.

Kyrgios' coach Simon Rea spent Wednesday studying footage of the 24-year-old Frenchman, who has slowly worked his way towards the pointy end of men's tennis.

Paire has two singles titles to his name - Montpellier last year and Belgrade in 2012.

He reached the third round at Wimbledon and the French Open last year, but is yet to get past the second round at the Australian Open.


Masur said Paire played a similar style to Kyrgios, with plenty of big shots the backbone of his game.

But Masur also felt it was a winnable game for the Canberran.

''Paire is a very flashy, powerful player, a bit like Nick in a sense, they can both hit a lot of winners,'' he said.

''Nick can win that match for sure, but a very different match [from the first round against Benjamin Becker].

''But Paire is a player that has highs and lows, he's not a consistent performer - he'll do the brilliant and miss the easy. The more questions [Nick] asks of Paire the better. I think he's a realistic chance of winning, but he'll have to be at his very best, but he might need a little help from Paire.''

From the little he had seen of Paire, Rea had also noticed his ball striking. He planned to continue the research to formulate a game plan to get to the third round and a potential date with fifth-seed Juan Martin del Potro.

''[Paire's] had a really impressive couple of years and made some really big ranking gains,'' Rea said.

''He seems to be very talented, great ball striker, a number of weapons at his disposal.

''Certainly a searching test for Nick tomorrow and not to mention the [hot] conditions that are expected to continue for the rest of the week, which is going to test everyone. He's a formidable, world-class opponent from the top 30 in the world, certainly a stern test.''