Nick Kyrgios to face good mate Reilly Opelka in Houston last four
Nick Kyrgios has learned his semifinal opponent for the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.
Reilly Opelka was a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer to book a date with the Aussie and earn his second career semifinal on clay.
Opelka snapped a four-match losing streak in Houston at the outset of the tournament and said the first round bye helped him settle into the event.
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“The bye weeks are nice, they really are, to come in a little later, have more time to prepare on the court,” he said.
“You get to take your time and that’s huge.”
Despite Opelka’s opponents obscurity the American wouldn’t have it all his own way.
After Opelka claimed a routine first set he would slip to 3-1 down in the second set.
Having clinched the comeback win in the second set to take the match, Opelka opined that he would need to be much better on serve to get past the unpredictable Australian Kyrgios.
“Nick, you never know what you’re going to get,” the American said, looking ahead to the match against a man he counts as his friend.
“I’ve got to serve better than the way I’ve been to beat that guy, for sure.”
Kyrgios had a close eye on proceedings after he was granted a walkover through the last eight after Michael Mmoh withdrew with a right adductor strain.
“I’m excited to be in the semi-final against Reilly, someone who’s been playing extremely good for the last couple of years. Really finding his game style and executing.
“I’m just excited to go out there again in front of the Houston crowd. The key is going to be serving well. We’ll see, it might come down to a couple of points.
“I think we’re both pretty comfortable in the clay, as it seems in this tournament,” the Aussie said. “I think Houston’s pretty good conditions for both of us.”
The other semi-final will be contested between defending champion Cristian Garin and John Isner.
Garin battled past Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz while Isner saw off compatriot Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final of the year.
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