Nick Kyrgios came through an extremely challenging contest with Frances Tiafoe where he saved an incredible five match points in the second-set tiebreak to set up a semi-final clash at the Citi Open with Mikael Ymer. Kyrgios made his singles draw return to the ATP Tour this week for the first time since reaching the Wimbledon final last month.
It’s been an all-American affair for Kyrgios so far having defeated Tommy Paul and Reilly Opelka in straight-forward matches. But his quarter-final contest against Tiafoe was anything but as the Aussie was made to dig deep to progress to the final four.
Nothing separated them in the first set before going to a tiebreak where Kyrgios soon took a 5-2 lead, only for Tiafoe to fight back and steal the set. It was much of the same in the second with both players putting on a show for the fans staying up late.
Both players were putting on a serving clinich in the second-set tiebreak as Kyrgios did everything to try and stay in the match. Tiafoe was resilient though as he pushed Kyrgios to his limits and soon found himself with the first match point at 6-5.
But Kyrgios continued to dig deep, although his frustrations threatened to boil over when he got in a shouting match with the chair umpire. The Wimbledon finallist eventually held on to get the job done and force a third set after winning 14-12 in the tiebreak.
Tiafoe was furious at the end of the second set when he approached the umpire himself, seemingly frustrated at Kyrgios not being punished further for his outbursts. The American returned to his chair but not before smashing his racket onto the floor and kicking his towel as he took his seat to cool down.
The 24-year-old clearly hadn’t managed to regain his composure in the third set though as Kyrgios soon took control. Kyrgios clearly wanted the match over as he yelled: “I want to go to bed.”
And the Aussie was in no mood for the third set to reach a tiebreak as he broke early and took a 2-0 lead. Kyrgios was barely troubled on his serve with Tiafoe’s head appearing to drop and the 27-year-old took full advantage as he secured the double break before serving out for the match.
He now moves on to face Mikael Ymer in the semi-finals of the Citi Open, who beat Andy Murray in the opening round earlier this week. No 1 seed Andrey Rublev takes on Yoshihito Nishioka in the other semi-final.