Two interesting runs came to an end as both Nick Kyrgios and Jack Draper fell at the quarter-final stage of the Canadian Open in Montreal but not before providing some stiff opposition for the respective winners
When I got ahead, I really took it to Tommy and that’s been sort of my way throughout this week so far, and I went about it in a good way, I was fired up and I thought it was a good battle between me and Tommy Dan Evans
However, Britain’s No.2, Dan Evans, has made the last four after fighting back from a set down to reach the semis of a Masters level event for the second time in his career.
It didn’t look good for Evans when Tommy Paul, started the match with some aggressive tennis to claim the first set for the loss of just one game, but Evans was able to find the answers in the second when he turned the tables on his American opponent to go and claim a 1-6 6-3 6-4 victory.
“You wonder if it’s going to happen, if you are going to get into the match, and I got in,” Evans said after his satisfying win.
“When I got ahead, I really took it to Tommy and that’s been sort of my way throughout this week so far, and I went about it in a good way, I was fired up and I thought it was a good battle between me and Tommy.”
There was a possibility that Evans would face Draper in the semis but the 20-year-old from London, after putting up a strong resistance in the opening set, couldn’t upset the rhythm of the experienced Pablo Carreno Busta who defeated him 7-6(4) 6-1 so it will be the Spaniard who he will have to remove if he is to reach his first Masters final.
Nonetheless, Draper can be well satisfied with his week’s work considering he and his coach only decided to play at the very last minute. He then came through the qualifying tournament and made a huge impact on the main draw with three strong, positive results, including a straight sets victory over the third seed and world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Evans is also still in contention in the doubles where he has reached the semis with Australian partner John Peers by battling past Horatio Zeballos of Argentina and Spain’s Marcel Granollers 7-6(3) 7-6(3).
Meanwhile Kyrgios’ 9-match winning streak has come to an end following the Aussie’s 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-1 defeat at the hands of Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
The Pole also beat him in Halle last June and Kyrgios will be more than happy with his run of 23 matches with just three losses, the third being in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic.
“Nick has been playing some incredible tennis throughout the past weeks, so it is a pleasure playing against him,” Hurkacz said on court. “I hope the fans enjoyed it as well, but I am happy with the result in the end.”
Kyrgios will now look ahead to next week in Cincinnati where he has been a finalist and he will no doubt welcome a few days of rest.
“He’s got one of the best serves in the world. I had opportunities in the first set break points and break points in the second. Obviously, that was pretty crucial because just running on fumes a bit towards the end. I think it’s normal,” a weary Kyrgios said after the match.
“I feel good. I feel confident. Now I got three days, three or four days, of rest until Cincinnati. I’m going to use that, really capitalize on just rest and recovery.”
Hurkacz, a former Miami winner, will now meet recent Miami finalist, Norway’s Casper Ruud who upset Felix Auger-Aliassime with ease 6-1 6-2 in what was expected to be a tight contest with so much at stake for the local hero.
“It was one of those days where everything goes in one’s favour and luckily it was in my favour. With a player like Felix, you need to rely on some margins going your way. I didn’t expect them to all go on my side,” Ruud told the crowd. “It was a bit of a difficult start. I got broken but then was able to turn everything around. I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well.
“I am sure Felix has played better than he has today. He has for sure, I have seen it before. It is a pity because he is playing at home. Maybe that was a factor, you could be nervous, but I am not going to talk for Felix. It was a big moment. This arena was full today and I am lucky I was able to win.”
And he did talk for himself: “I never thought it would be ending like this today,” the Canadian ,who hails from Montreal, said. “Credit to Casper for playing well. I think you always have to give credit when it’s due. But on my side, it’s super disappointing to lose any tournament like this, and especially here.”