Kyrgios downs Djokovic
Andy Murray will no doubt be thanking his friend Nick Kirgios, the Australian Bad Boy, for defeating his main rival for the No1 spot in the world rankings, Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, in the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters.
That felt good to kind of prove it wasn’t a one-off thing. It felt good to back it up again.
It was the second time in as many weeks that the Aussie has beaten the Serb, and he did it with some powerful play, especially on serve.
He won 6-4 7-6(3) for a place in the quarter finals where he will face Roger Federer who in turn, continued to get the better of Rafa Nadal, on this occasion a more comfortable, 68-minute, 6-2 6-3 victory than the classic five-setter in the Melbourne final.
KyrgiosÈ triumph brought to an end DjokovicÈs 19 match winning streak as the Serb was just unable to stave off his adversaryÈs aggression.
"The run was amazing," said Djokovic, a five time winner in Indian Wells. "I am very proud of it. It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today."
Kyrgios, who struck 14 aces, commented on his second win over the world number two: "That felt good to kind of prove it wasn’t a one-off thing. It felt good to back it up again."
Commenting on the 21 year-oldÈs serve, especially the second delivery, Djokovic added: "It’s a gamble. His second serve, if you think you’re going to have a look at it, you don’t, because he goes for it as well."
Kyrgios said that second second serve is the cornerstone of his game. "It’s a high percentage for me to go big under pressure," he said. "That’s my game style. If I miss, I miss, but I know I went down playing my game."
FedererÈs win over Nadal is the first time he has succeeded in defeating the Spaniard on three consecutive occasions.
"In Australia was a very close match," Nadal said. "I had good chances to win. Today, not. Today he played better than me. These kind of matches, when you’re not playing your match, it’s impossible to win."
Meanwhile world No 3 Stanislas Wawrinka, the highest-ranked player remaining following the departures of Djokovic and world No 1 Andy Murray, progressed into the last eight but was made to work hard for his 3-6 6-3 7-6(4) win by lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka ranked 70.
"I’m really happy to get through for sure," said Wawrinka. "You have to be a little bit lucky when he served twice for the match."
Wawrinka will face eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem for a place in the semifinals. The Austrian beat France’s Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2.
Fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan quietly reached the last eight with a 6-2 6-4 victory over American Donald Young.
He’ll face American Jack Sock, who beat Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 4-6 7-6(1) 7-5.
In the womenÈs draw Karolina Pliskova booked a place in the semi-final with a hard fought victory over the French Open champion, Garbine Muguruza, 7-6(2) 7-6(5) to remain in the hunt for a third title of the year and a maiden Premier MandatoryÈ success.
Pliskova said: In the end it was a little bit tricky, I was up 5-2 and she started playing more aggressively than me, so it was tough to close it but she gave me the last point, so I am happy.
I started both sets well and was hitting the ball well from the baseline but she improved and I struggled on my serve. I am just happy to get through.
The Czech will meet Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last four after she won an all-Russian affair against Anastasia Pavlyuchenko 6-3 6-2.
Caroline Wozniacki and Kristina Mladenovic and Venus Williams and Elina Vesnina battle it out in the remaining quarter-finals on Thursday.