It was a battle for a spot in the Western and Southern Open semifinal as Nick Kyrgios and David Ferrer met for the first time since 2013. Ferrer has been in fine form since winning the Swedish Open title while Kyrgios has overcome his injury problems this week to make a second Masters 1000 semi on the year (Miami).
The Aussie picked up his first win against Ferrer, edging out the Spaniard, 7-6(3), 7-6(4). He will now face Grigor Dimitrov in the final as they battle it out for a first career Masters 1000 title.
It was a set where there were no break chances. Ferrer opened up the proceedings holding at 15, getting the crowd on their feet after chasing down a Kyrgios drop shot for a winner. The Spaniard started this match much better than his Spanish compatriot, Rafael Nadal, who was broken twice in his opening two service games in the quarterfinals.
The Aussie was beginning to find his mark in his second service game, hitting three massive serves over 130 MPH. The seventh game saw the first game that went to deuce as Kyrgios was hoping to break. The Aussie slammed his racquet in frustration after dumping a return into the net as the former French Open finalist held. Both men continued to hold, taking the opening set to a tiebreak.
Kyrgios Takes Tiebreak
The tiebreak kicked off with three forehand winners before Ferrer conceded the first two points against serve, double faulting and hitting a forehand error. The Aussie gave one mini-break back, after missing a volley but held his serve the next time, taking a 5-2 lead. The Swedish Open champion missed a backhand to give Kyrgios four set points. Kyrgios took it on his second chance on a forehand winner.
Plenty Chances To Break But No Luck
This set saw break chances aplenty in the first few service games. Ferrer had a slight opening at 15-30 in the opening service game but couldn’t find a way to get break chances. In the fourth game, Ferrer set up double break chance for Kyrgios after hitting a volley into the net. The Spaniard was able to fend him off for two-all.
This time it was Kyrgios who was being tested on serve, going down 15-40. When down the break chances, the 22-year-old pulled out a couple of drop shots while Ferrer was way back in the court, eventually holding for 3-2. Down 0-30, the 35-year-old showed off some aggressive tennis, putting Kyrgios on the defensive and brought it back to 40-30 with three consecutive volley winners.
After a few more holds, Ferrer found himself forced to save match point down 4-5, 30-40. He was able to hold off the Aussie as the crowd roared, wanting to see more tennis. Another tiebreak would ensue after both men held the rest of the way.
Kyrgios Books Spot In Final
Kyrgios would strike first in the tiebreak once again, hitting a dipping shot while the Spaniard was running to the net. He extended his lead to 4-1 after holding both his serves, using a 116 MPH kick serve to get there. Kyrgios moved a point away from the match once again with an ace, but Ferrer was serving down 3-6 to stay in the match.
A gutsy forehand winner made it 4-6, but a backhand from the Spaniard just missed the line as Kyrgios booked his spot in the final.