Nick Kyrgios qualified for the final of the Citi Open as he beat Mikael Ymer 7-6(4) 6-3 on Saturday to set up a match with Yoshihito Nishioka.
On Friday, the Australian had played two singles matches in order to catch up with ties that had been held back. On Saturday he initially struggled with the defensive tactics and speed that his Swedish opponent used.
However the 27-year-old was able to use his serving and power advantage to come through in a little over an hour and a half.
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The first set tie-break was well balanced at 4-4 but after a 24-shot rally, he raced towards the win.
"Honestly I didn't play anywhere near my best tennis today and I don't know. The role was reversed, the past couple matches I've been on paper, rankings-wise the underdog in my past couple matches, but today I definitely felt like the favourite," Kyrgios said afterwards. "I served pretty solid. Obviously my winning percentage behind my first serve would have been high, but from the back of the court I didn't play well at all."
In the second set Ymer was again holding on well but Kyrgios broke at 4-3 and held his nerve to reach the final, the first time he has reached that stage of a tour tournament for events in a row.
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Kyrgios and American doubles partner Jack Sock received a walkover against Frances Tiafoe and Alex de Minaur in their semi-final They play Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicekin the final.
Nishioka meanwhile made his way into the final as he defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4.
The 26-year-old Japanese competitor was coming off an exacting three hour 35 minute tie with Dan Evans on Friday but found Rublev a far easier opponent.
Nishioka’s speed and Rublev’s difficulty with his forehand saw him struggle, and lost two consecutive break points and could not fight back hard enough to win out.
Ahead of the final with Kyrgios, Nishioka said: "We've played many times, but he beat me every time since [we were] 16 years old. It is really tough to play against him.
"He doesn't have any pace, he just hits the ball so hard every time and most of his serves [too], which [makes it] very tough to break his service games. The most important thing is I have to focus on my service games."
The women’s final will see 37-year-old veteran Kaia Kanepi take on a similarly powerful Liudmila Samsonova on Sunday.
Kanepi defeated Daria Saville 6-3 6-1 in 73 minutes to reach her first final since the Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne in February 2021, with just five unforced errors.
Saville is making her way back from an achilles problem and had to take a time-out at 4-2 for a back problem, but was able to continue only to lose out.
Samsonova needed six minutes fewer for her victory as he defeated Wang Xiyu, a lucky loser, to reach just her second career final.
She too committed just five forced errors, and only faced on break point, only to fight back successfully.
Norrie defeated at Los Cabos
In Mexico, Cameron Norrie lost in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel, the tournament he won last year.
Norrie defended one set point when 5-4 down, but the Russian continued to push his superiority and won 7-5 6-0.
“I fought as hard as I could do, but Daniil was too good,” said Norrie afterwards. “Well done to you and your team. You definitely deserve it this week.
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