Kyrgios closes in on Cincinnati title



Originally published on 20/08/17 00:00

The highly-skilled Australian made it two wins in two days over Spaniards as his superior firepower helped him prevail against his gritty and tenacious rival.

It was another disciplined display from the 22-year-old – who cracked 14 aces – and he will take on Grigor Dimitrov for a shot at the biggest title of his career.

Kyrgios had retired with a hip problem in three of his last four tournaments and there was little to suggest he was ready to turn on the style in Cincinnati. He was plummeting down the rankings however he has rectified the situation impressively and is enjoying the lively conditions at the seventh Masters event of the season.

For much of the year, Ferrer was out of form and struggling with niggling injuries, but he has been close to his relentless best this week. The 35-year-old was arguably the stronger performer in the opener however he unraveled in the tiebreak and was soon trailing on the scoreboard.

Both players encountered trouble on serve in the early stages of the second set, but there was to be no significant breakthrough. Kyrgios had a match-point opportunity on his opponent’s delivery in the 10th game but he mistimed a second serve return and his chance was gone.

Ferrer battled gamely in the second set shootout but he was simply outgunned by his attack-minded rival. Kyrgios brought the heat when it mattered, and he was soon embracing the Spanish warrior at the net after a good evening’s work.

In the women’s second semi-final in Cincinnati, Simona Halep proved to be too strong for home-favourite, Sloane Stephens. The Romanian, who will play Garbine Muguruza in the championship match, is now just one win away from becoming the world No.1 for the first time.

After her 6-2 6-1 success in just 55 minutes, Halep said: "I played my best match on hard-court so far. I think the match from yesterday [against Konta] gave me a lot of confidence, and since yesterday I started to feel the game, to feel that I can hit the ball.”


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