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Kyrgios serves up a show to down Tsitsipas in Washington

The first meeting between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas lived up to the hype on Saturday as the Australian saved a match point in a wildly entertaining 6-4 3-6 7-6(7) win to reach the Citi Open final.  

The big-serving Australian will face Daniil Medvedev for the trophy on Sunday after the Russian cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Peter Gojowczyk in the late match.

The mercurial Kyrgios put on a show for the sold-out crowd, fist bumping with fans during the first set, smashing his racket in the second and mixing in tweeners, underhand serves and slick no-look volleys throughout.

Kyrgios appeared in control when he raced out to a 5-1 lead in the third set tiebreaker with a blistering cross-court forehand but Tsitsipas battled back to get to a match point.

The young Greek’s backhand return sailed long, however, and when Kyrgios earned a match point of his own he consulted with a fan prior to his serve for the second night in a row.

The spectator appeared to advise him to aim for the top seed’s backhand and Kyrgios did just that.

Tsitsipas could only block the rocket back, setting up an easy forehand winner that ended the match on a hot and humid night in the U.S. capital.

“I just go there and I ask them where they want me to serve. And it’s two-for-two,” Kyrgios said.

The match statistics were remarkably even, with Kyrgios winning 91 points to Tsitsipas’ 90 and each player breaking the other’s serve twice.

“In the first set I was playing pretty clinical tennis, playing really well,” he said. “I obviously went a bit nuts (in the second) and somehow was able to pull in back in the third set.”

Kyrgios had nothing but kind words for his doubles partner Tsitsipas, who will reach a career high of world number five on Monday.

“He’s the perfect example for any tennis player,” Kyrgios said. “His consistency shows every week. He’s doing all the right things and he’s going to have an amazing career.”

Third-seeded Medvedev put on a serving clinic to quickly dispatch lucky loser Gojowczyk in their semi-final meeting.

The 23-year-old from Moscow will be look to even scores in the final with Kyrgios, who defeated him in three sets in their only previous meeting at the Italian Open in May.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Sudipto Ganguly)

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Kyrgios overcomes Dimitrov, to face Harrison in Brisbane final

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios battled past defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-1 6-4 to set up a final against American Ryan Harrison at the Brisbane International on Saturday.

After losing the first set, the number three seed stamped his authority on the second, converting two break points to force a decider for a third consecutive match this week.

“I knew that I had to do something a little bit differently today. I couldn’t give him too much rhythm,” Kyrgios said after the match.

The 22-year-old Kyrgios was dominant on serve, hitting 19 aces and winning 82 percent of his first-serve points, and broke Dimitrov in the seventh game of the final set to claim his first victory over the Bulgarian in three meetings.

World number 21 Kyrgios could clinch his first ATP Tour title on home soil on Sunday and make a huge statement ahead of the Australian Open, which begins at Melbourne Park on Jan. 15.

In the other semi-final, Harrison came back from a set down to end the dream run of Australian wildcard Alex De Minaur in a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 victory.

The 18-year-old De Minaur raced past Harrison to claim the first set before forcing a tiebreak in the second, where he cruised to a 5-3 lead.

Standing just two points away from his first career final, De Minaur committed a string of errors, including a double fault to concede a set point to Harrison, allowing the world number 47 back into the match.

De Minaur started flat in the decider and Harrison pounced on the opportunity, breaking his opponent’s serve twice to lead 5-1.

Harrison was broken while trying to serve out the match at 5-2 but recovered and held to love to reach only his third ATP Tour final, all of which have come since February last year.

Heading into the final, Kyrgios has a 2-0 head-to-head advantage with Harrison yet to take a set off the Australian.

“I know that he’s a dangerous opponent. He can serve very, very well and he’s obviously won a lot of matches here,”
Kyrgios said.

(Hardik Vyas)

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Kyrgios blames stomach bug for Shanghai retirement

Nick Kyrgios said a stomach bug and a shoulder problem had forced him to retire after losing the first set in his Shanghai Masters first-round match against American Steve Johnson on Tuesday.

The mercurial Australian, who lost to Rafa Nadal in the China Open final on Sunday, took a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak before Johnson fired a series of winners to take the set 7-6(5).

Kyrgios then ran up to his opponent, shook his hand and walked off court to boos from the crowd, leaving Johnson and chair umpire Fergus Murphy confused.

Local media reported that Kyrgios received two code violations during the set and was docked a point in the tiebreak.

Reports also said he told officials he would quit if he lost the set, but Kyrgios took to Twitter to apologise to his fans.

“I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” Kyrgios said.

“My shoulder started to hurt in the practice which didn’t help either and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I’ve not eaten much in the past 24 hours,” he added.

”I‘m hoping to be okay for the doubles and will make a decision tomorrow morning, hopefully off of a good night’s sleep which I didn’t get last night.

“I‘m gutted to be honest to be honest as I was keen to keep the good momentum that I built in Beijing going and finish the year strong. I’ll do what I can to make sure I do.”

Kyrgios was fined $16,500 by the ATP last year for deliberately throwing a game away during his second-round defeat by Mischa Zverev in Shanghai.

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro overpowered Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4 in the second round.

American Sam Querrey powered past Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-2 and Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov beat Viktor Troicki 6-7(3) 6-3 6-0 in first-round matches.

(Shrivathsa Sridhar)