Nick Kyrgios was at his ruthless best on Friday evening blasting past Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-5 to secure a spot in the semi-finals. It was the 100th tour-level victory for the Aussie.
Being a little kid playing on centre court of Cincinnati against Nadal, that's the way the best has to come out. Nick Kyrgios
Kyrgios dominated from start to finish in his second match of day, reaching his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final of the year (Miami) and first in Cincinnati. Less than seven hours after rallying past Ivo Karlovic 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 in their rain-delayed third round affair, he needed just 80 minutes to thwart the soon to be World No. 1.
“Being a little kid playing on centre court of Cincinnati against Nadal, that’s the way the best has to come out,” said Kyrgios.
“He obviously is a tough match always,” said Nadal. “Nick is a great player, but I played poorly. I started the match well and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he broke me. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played a terrible game. So it was a bad match for me. Congrats to him. That’s it.
“I love this tournament so much. It is improving every year. But I don’t know why I don’t find my rhythm here. It is tough for me to compete well here. But I’m going to keep trying next year.”
With top seed Nadal out, it marks the first time since 2006 that no Top 5 seeds will feature in the Cincinnati semi-finals.
Kyrgios will face David Ferrer in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Ferrer took their lone previous encounter in the first round of the 2013 US Open. Seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov battles 14th seed John Isner in the other semi-final.
“I’m not even looking ahead,” Kyrgios added. “Obviously tomorrow against Ferrer, it’s going to be a tough battle. He’s a great competitor. I don’t even know how long he’s been on tour for. Looks like he’s trying to find his range again. Looks like he’s playing much better now than he was last year.
“I know that he’s feeling confident. To beat Dominic in straight sets. He’s beat guys like Jack Sock the last couple of weeks, as well. He’s playing good tennis against good players. I know it’s going to be tough.”