Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios battled in the 2017 Cincinnati quarter-final
Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios battled in the 2017 Cincinnati Masters quarter-final, with the Aussie beating the Spaniard in straight sets. Nadal claimed his only Cincinnati Masters crown in 2013, during his perfect North American summer.
Rafa suffered early losses in his next two trips to Ohio, hoping for a better run in 2017. Nadal took down Richard Gasquet and Albert Ramos-Vinolas to secure his seventh Cincinnati quarter-final ahead of a more challenging obstacle.
Rafa faced Nick Kyrgios in a battle for the semi-final and experienced a 6-2, 7-5 loss in 80 minutes, hitting the exit door. It was the second match of the day for both, and Kyrgios preserved more energy to score a notable victory.
Pumped by a big stage and a great rival on the other side, Nick kept the focus without the usual lack of concentration or tantrums, motivated to show his best tennis. He overwhelmed Rafa in every segment, dropping 15 points in ten service games and fending off two out of three break chances to control the scoreboard.
Nick Kyrgios defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets in Cincinnati 2017.
The Aussie was a more determined player, keeping his backhand safe and spraying 16 errors in the entire clash.
His groundstrokes were deep and potent, forcing Nadal to stay out of balance and struggle to impose his strokes. Unable to find a proper answer in his games and mount some pressure on his opponent, the Spaniard got broken four times to propel the Aussie over the top.
Not trusting his strokes, Nadal sprayed too many mistakes, standing miles behind the baseline in attempts to return Kyrgios’ bombs from serve. Also, Rafa got broken at love right after stealing the rival’s serve, which we rarely see in his matches.
Kyrgios had 21 service winners while Nadal stayed on 13, and the younger player built a 16-12 advantage in the winners from the field. Nick had 11 unforced errors, nine less than Nadal, who hit 13 from his forehand and seven from a backhand side.
66% of the points ended within four shots, and Nick forged a 45-29 advantage.He also had a 21-17 lead in extended exchanges, playing well and sealing the deal in straight sets. Nick was off to a flying start, taking the opening four games in 13 minutes after making a single error!
The Aussie secured the set with a hold in game eight after 25 minutes, gaining a boost ahead of the second. He clinched another break at 2-2, taking another big step toward the finish line. Kyrgios dropped only eight points behind the initial shot until 5-4.
However, he suffered a break in the worst moment while serving for the victory to bring Rafa back to 5-5. It was not to be for Nadal, though, as he got broken at love in game 11 to fall behind. Kyrgios served for the victory for the second time at 6-5 and landed three winners to emerge at the top in style.