Kyrgios Stuns Djokovic In Acapulco
Aussie to play Querrey in semi-finals
Sixth seed Nick Kyrgios put in one of the finest performances of his career on Thursday at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, firing 25 aces and saving a pair of set points to shock top seed Novak Djokovic 7-6(9), 7-5.
“It’s what I dreamed of as a little kid, playing on these great venues against some of the greatest players in the world,” said Kyrgios. “I never have a problem getting up for these matches.”
Kyrgios picked up his 11th career victory over a Top 10 player. He now has wins over three of the Big Four including Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Aussie is also through to his second consecutive ATP World Tour semi-final, having reached the final four last week at Open 13 Marseille (l. Tsonga).
Next up for Kyrgios is Sam Querrey, a 6-1, 7-5 winner earlier in the day over fourth seed Dominic Thiem. Kyrgios leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 1-0, scoring a win this past October in the opening round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Djokovic and Kyrgios held serve throughout the first set to force a tie-break. Kyrgios earned two set points at 6/4, but the Aussie shockingly hit a double fault on the first chance and a strong serve from Djokovic leveled the score at 6/6. A big first serve from Kyrgios erased a set point for Djokovic at 6/7, while Djokovic repeated that effort down 7/8. With the Aussie serving at 8/9, he fired two consecutive aces to earn a fourth set point chance. Djokovic finally relinquished the set with a forehand long and an energised Kyrgios sprinted to his chair in celebration.
Kyrgios continued to show a high level of discipline in the long baseline rallies throughout the second set, mixing up the pace of his shots and waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Both players traded routine service holds throughout the second set, but it was the World No. 2 who blinked first. Serving at 5-6, Djokovic handed Kyrgios a trio of unforced errors to bring up triple match point. Kyrgios only needed one, striking a forehand winner and raising his arms in celebration after one hour and 47 minutes.
“I wasn’t thinking about winning at any stage," said Kyrgios. "I knew I had to stay in the moment because I’ve been in situations where matches have gotten away from me, so I had to stay switched on the whole time. I knew that if I just waited and waited, eventually I’d get my chance.”
Djokovic had not lost to a player as young as Kyrgios (21 years, 296 days) since retiring against 18-year-old Filip Krajinovic in the 2010 Belgrade quarter-finals.