Nick Kyrgios booed as Australian humbles new world number one Rafael Nadal to reach Cincinnati Masters semi-finals
The 22-year-old from Canberra posts 6-2, 7-5 win to set up last four meeting with Spain’s David Ferrer after playing twice in one day
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios humbled new world number one Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-5 to win twice in one day to reach the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals.
On a day when defending champion Karolina Pliskova also won twice in one day for the third time this season to tighten her grip on the world number one ranking, Kyrgios stole the show by overpowering the 15-time grand slam champion.
The 22-year-old from Canberra was up a double break in 10 minutes, seizing the chance to make a between-the-legs shot on his way to a 4-0 lead which drew boos from the crowd.
World number 23 Kyrgios took the first set in 25 minutes, dropping only three points on his serve while taking seven-of-eight points off the 31-year-old Spaniard’s second serves.
Nadal netted a forehand to surrender a break and a 3-2 lead to Kyrgios in the second set.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) August 19, 2017
The Australian served for the match in the 10th game, but double faulted on his third match point and Nadal had new life, screaming, “Come On.”
But Kyrgios broke again to lead 6-5, and this time end matters with his 10th ace after 80 minutes, improving to 2-2 all-time against Nadal and booking a semi-final against Spain’s David Ferrer.
Bulgaria’s 11th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov plays American John Isner in the other semi-final.
Earlier, Kyrgios defeated Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 and Nadal downed compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.
Pliskova, fighting to hold off Romania’s Simona Halep at the top of the rankings, first ousted Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in one of five matches postponed from due to rain.
With only two hours between matches, the 25-year-old Czech defeated Denmark’s fifth-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 to book a semi-final against Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.
“I feel pretty good,” Pliskova said. “I recover well, so definitely I will be ready.”
Second-ranked Halep eliminated British seventh seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) to book a semi-final date with US wild card Sloane Stephens.
“Whatever comes I will just take it,” said Pliskova. “Even if I would be second coming to the US Open, it’s still better than I was last year. So no pressure about being world number one.”
Sixth-ranked Spaniard Muguruza ousted Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.
Ferrer upset Austria’s eighth-ranked Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-3, while Isner fired 25 aces in beating American wild card Jared Donaldson 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 and Dimitrov downed Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-1.