Citi Open: Nick Kyrgios marches on as Dan Evans is upset
Nick Kyrgios was involved in another thriller as he beat Frances Tiafoe 6-7(5), 7-6(12), 6-2 to reach the Citi Open semi-final.
Kyrgios saved five match points in a frantic second-set tie-break before dominating the decisive stanza to book his passage to the last four.
The Australian finished with 60 winners to his name, including 35 aces, and took full advantage of Tiafoe’s flatering first-serve to run away with the final set as he maintained his high level on his own deliveries.
Tiafoe played his part in making an incredible match with 33 winners, including 14 aces.
The last eight triumph was the second match win of a busy day for Kyrgios, who had earlier put away fourth seed Reilly Opelka 7-6(1), 6-2.
Kyrgios is now just two wins away from repeating his 2019 title which was also the last time he was an ATP Tour titlist.
Earlier this week, Kyrgios explained why he thinks he is playing well.
“I think just being at peace with your life definitely helps.
“I think everything around me right now is amazing.
“You know, I’m fortunate enough to be in a really healthy relationship that’s loving, she’s supports me, and we just have fun.
“Having my physio with me full time, pretty much full time this year has been great, because that was something I wasn’t able to do last year because of COVID.
“The restrictions for Australians, having that two-week quarantine, that wasn’t something I was willing to put him through.
“I just got, as I said, physio, my girlfriend, supportive, my manager is my best friend. I feel we are all on same page, have the same goals, I’m training hard. We are just having fun with it.
“If you look at the most successful players in the world, everything around them is set up and they don’t worry about anything else externally. Their job is just go out there and focus on the tennis court and fight hard and produce tennis, and that’s it.”
Kyrgios will next face Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, who has kicked on after ousting Andy Murray in the first round and survived a stirring comeback attempt from home hope Sebastian Korda on Friday.
Top seed Andrey Rublev also pulled double duty Friday.
Rublev managed to back up a win earlier in the day against French-born American Maxime Cressy with a 6-2, 6-3 trumph over J.J. Wolf to book a semi-final showdown with Yoshihito Nishioka who upset Dan Evans.
The top seed’s combined match time on Friday came in at exactly three hours, which was still 35 minutes less than the time Nishioka spent on court against Evans.
Rublev said that it was tricky to play two very different types of players on the same day.
“The two players that I faced are completely different,” said Rublev.
“In the morning, there were no rallies and this afternoon when we started to play, I needed time to adjust but then I started to play well and I am happy that I finished in straight sets.”
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