New World number one Rafael Nadal sets up Nick Kyrgios quarter-final in Cincinnati

The 31-year-old beats Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 August, 2017, 10:18am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 August, 2017, 10:20am

Top seed Rafael Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets to set up a mouth-watering Western & Southern Open quarter-final against Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal made a flurry of uncharacteristic errors in the first set on Friday, but settled down in the second and ultimately cruised to a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory on a humid, gusty day at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre in Cincinnati.

“It was very warm and the ball was flying a lot. It was difficult to control,” said Nadal. “Probably during the night it will be slower conditions.”

The match was one of several postponed by a day due to rain, forcing players that advanced during Friday’s daytime matches to return for an encore in the evening.

Nadal dug himself out of a 40-0 hole early in the second set by reeling off five straight points including two aces to put himself up 3-2.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who will for the fourth time in his career be the world number one when the ATP rankings come out next week, never looked back from there.

With the win Nadal improved to 4-0 against Ramos-Vinolas and he has still never dropped a set to the 29-year-old.

Earlier, the 22-year-old Kyrgios, whose match began on Thursday before it was held over due to rain, defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.

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Kyrgios, known as much for his temper as for his brilliant shot-making, threw his racquet down in disgust after losing two straight service points in the tiebreak to even it up at 6-6.

The outburst appeared to work as he won the next two points and then dominated a deflated Karlovic in the final set.

Elsewhere, seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov sailed past Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-1.