Tennis-Nishioka continues impressive run to set up Kyrgios showdown

Aug 6, 2022; Washington, DC, USA; Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) celebrates after his match against Andrey Rublev in a men's single's semifinal on day six of the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, ranked 96th in the world, beat top seed Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4 on Saturday, continuing his stellar show at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., and setting up a showdown against Australian Nick Kyrgios.

The 26-year-old left-hander came to the U.S. capital having won five out of seven matches on the feeder Challenger circuit last month, but had not won a tour-level match since the Miami Masters in March.

On Sunday, Nishioka will play for the biggest title of his career at the ATP 500 event against 2019 champion Kyrgios, who defeated Sweden's Mikael Ymer 7-6(4) 6-3 in the other semi-final.

"I love to play here; I have been here many times. But for tomorrow, everyone loves Nick as well," Nishioka said. He added that he hoped the crowd would still cheer for him, and that he just planned to enjoy the day.

Nishioka, who reached a career-high ranking of 48th in 2020, knocked out Atlanta runner-up Jenson Brooksby in the first round, then beat three seeded players - Alex De Minaur, Karen Khachanov and Dan Evans - before stunning eighth-ranked Rublev.

He needed three hours and 35 minutes on Friday to defeat Britain's Evans.

"Today I felt very tired before the start of the match, and I felt I (couldn't) do the same thing like I did against Evans and Khachanov," Nishioka said. "I tried to be a little bit aggressive, because I knew Andrey was going to play aggressive to me."

Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios, ranked 63rd, has a 3-0 head-to-head record against the left-hander and will climb up the rankings ladder to 37th if he lifts the trophy.

The big-serving Australian won the last of his six ATP titles at the same event in Washington in 2019.

"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," Nishioka said.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Gerry Doyle)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Tennis

Tennis-Alcaraz confidence dented by defeat in first Tour match as number one
Tennis-ITF working with WTA on 2023 calendar after Swiatek pulls out of BJK Cup
Tennis-Kyrgios seeking to have assault charge dismissed on mental health grounds - media
Tennis-Swiatek to skip Billie Jean King Cup finals, complains about scheduling
Tennis-Djokovic cruises past Cilic to capture Tel Aviv title
Tennis-Britain's Norrie out of Japan Open with COVID as ATP Finals hopes take hit
Tennis-Laver backs Kyrgios for success after run to Wimbledon final
Tennis-Like Federer's farewell, Djokovic wants biggest rivals at his swansong
Tennis-Djokovic managing wrist issue, ATP Finals remains his goal
Tennis-Murray says coaching mere mortals could be a challenge for Federer

Others Also Read