Nick Kyrgios is two matches away from winning his first title on grass following his 6-4 6-2 demolition of Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, the sixth seed at the Halle Open tournament in West Germany.
This time there were no ill-tempered outbursts, but he was still able to bring his characteristically entertaining tennis into action in what was otherwise a straight-forward victory.
Both players opened with service games to love, but it was Kyrgios who was the first to apply any major pressure, although he missed two opportunities to break in the third game.
When his next chance came to pull ahead, the Aussie took it emphatically. With the scores level at 2-2, Kyrgios broke the Spaniard’s serve to love in a game which included a tweener during the break point rally!
Whilst Carreno Busta fought hard to recover it proved a fruitless exercise as Kyrgios went on to take the set and gained control in the second when he captured his opponent’s serve again, on his third break point.
By now Kyrgios could see his place in the semi-finals beckoning when he pulled further ahead to lead 4-1 and two hold of serve later, he was comfortably ensconced in the last four.
There he will meet Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the fifth seed who battled past the fourth seed from Canada, Felix Auger-Aliassime, 7-6(2) 7-6(4).
In the top half Daniil Medvedev, the new world No.1 from Moscow, saw off another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-4 and will face the lone German who carries his nations hopes, Oscar Otte, a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 winner over another Muscovite, Karen Khachanov.
Medvedev did not have things all his own way but showed his class in the opening set and then rode his luck in the second.
His Spanish opponent was made to regret throwing away six break-point opportunities throughout the set, as Medvedev went on to seal his place in the last four.