Kyrgios Cruises, Sets Interesting Third-Rounder

Aussie to face Nishikori in a third-round blockbuster

There has never been a question about Nick Kyrgios’ talent. The Aussie advanced to the Wimbledon quarter-finals as a 19-year-old — beating Rafael Nadal along the way — after all. But the No. 15 seed now looks as locked in as ever, and is perhaps ready for another deep run at the All England Club.

Kyrgios beat experienced Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in just one hour, 36 minutes to advance to the third round, where he will face Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori.

"Knew it was going to be a tough match. Came out really good. The first two sets, I was pretty impressed with my performance. Obviously third set got a bit rocky. I broke him a couple times, lost my serve, lost focus," Kyrgios said. "I knew the match was going to get tough at a certain stage. I'm just glad I got through it and didn't have to go to four sets."

The 23-year-old Kyrgios, who recently made the semi-finals at the MercedesCup and the Fever-Tree Championships, has now won seven of his past nine matches, and is 18-6 in 2018. Kyrgios has not lost before the Round of 16 at any event this year.

He has looked in especially fine form during the grass-court season, dominating on serve. While the Aussie was broken for the first two times since his opening-round match at the The Queen’s Club against Andy Murray, he lost just four points on his first serve against the World No. 43 Haase.

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Kyrgios followed up a 42-ace performance in the first round against Denis Istomin with 19 aces against the Dutchman. Haase made it a point to try to attack Kyrgios, coming to net 39 times, but the Aussie did well to stave off that aggression, winning 54 per cent of those points.

This year’s Brisbane International presented by Suncorp champion will face a stiff test against Nishikori, who leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0.

"Incredibly tough," Kyrgios said. "Kei is a guy I've never had a win against before. Grass is probably his least favourite surface. But he's capable on all surfaces. He's a nightmare. He's a great returner. Takes time away."

Nishikori

Nishikori set the clash with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(7), 7-5 victory against 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic, a lucky loser this year. The No. 24 seed has shown increasingly good form as he has recovered from a wrist injury, with his best result of the year coming when he advanced to the final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Nadal). He is into the third round at the All England Club for the sixth time in seven years.

The 28-year-old hit 24 aces and won 76 per cent of first-serve points. Nishikori had hit just 61 aces in his 26 tour-level matches this season before his battle against Tomic.

Did You Know?
In 2014, Kyrgios became the first man to reach the quarter-finals on his Wimbledon debut since German Florian Mayer in 2004.

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