high Kyrgios stuns Djokovic in Acapulco
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[March 03, 2017]
(Reuters) - Nick Kyrgios served
like a demon to bounce Serbia's world number two and top seed Novak
Djokovic out of the quarter-finals of the Acapulco International
with a 7-6(9) 7-5 victory on Thursday.
The Australian sixth seed served up 25 aces to the Serbian's two and
forged the only break of the match to set up a semi-final against
American Sam Querrey, who earlier beat Dominic Thiem 6-1 7-5.
Rafa Nadal also reached the last four with a hard-fought 7-6(2) 6-3
victory over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka and will next meet former
U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, whose quarter-final opponent Steve
Johnson withdrew with an ankle injury.
The hugely talented Kyrgios's 2016 season was curtailed by an ATP
ban for "not trying" at last year's Shanghai Masters but there was
no doubting his commitment in his first meeting with 12-times grand
slam champion Djokovic.
The 21-year-old held his nerve when the Serbian battled back for
parity in the first set tiebreak, going 1-0 up when Djokovic fired a
forehand long, and kept his concentration throughout an equally
tight second set.
That also looked like going to a tiebreaker until Kyrgios pounced
when leading 6-5 on serve, taking advantage of an
uncharacteristically nervous service game from the former world
number one to claim three match points.
Kyrgios needed only one for victory, taking the initiative with a
rocket of a return off the Serbian's second serve and finishing the
match off with a fierce forehand winner into the backcourt.
Djokovic was returning to action as a wild card in Acapulco after a
shoulder injury and playing only his second tour match since his
stunning second round exit at the Australian Open at the hands of
journeyman Denis Istomin.
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Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action against Serbia's Novak Djokovic.
Nadal, who won the title on both his previous
appearances in Acapulco in 2005 and 2013 and reached the final at
Melbourne Park in January, also had his back against the wall a
couple of times against 21-year-old Nishioka.
The 14-times grand slam champion was 4-2 down in the first set and
trailed 0-2 in the second but rallied each time and ended the
one-hour, 57-minute match with an overhead smash.
"I did not play my best tennis, but that's why it has a merit," the
Spaniard said. "I played great the previous rounds and today I was
able to get over a tough situation. I'm happy to be in the
semi-finals, that's great news."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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