Nick Kyrgios defeated Spain’s David Ferrer 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) at the ATP Cincinnati Masters to book a Sunday finals date with 11th-ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in a matchup of Masters finals debutantes.
On a television camera lens, Kyrgios wrote “74 + 89 R.I.P.” in tribute to grandmother Julianah Foster, who died in 2014 at 74, and grandfather Christos Kyrgios, who died in April.
“He never missed a match. That was one thing,” Kyrgios said. “And my grandma that passed away, she was pretty much my mum for the most part of my life. I have been pretty crazy ever since she left. They were unbelievable support. It was tough. I can’t really talk about it too much.”
Meanwhile, after losing to Kyrgios, Ferrer said the Aussie could someday be number one.
“Nick is young guy. He’s a nice guy. He’s improving every year and he’s the future,” Ferrer said. “He will have a lot of chances to be number one in the world and to win Grand Slams, but depends of his mentality.”
Finding the motivation for number one to matter might be Kyrgios’ toughest task.
“It’s just hard for me to take the game seriously at times. If I’m number one or number 500, I’m just a tennis player,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t really want to be remembered as an unbelievable tennis player. I would rather be remembered as someone who was kind to people and stuff like that.”
At Washington, Kyrgios was at a low point. “I wasn’t feeling confident,” he said. “I wasn’t tanking, but I was mentally not there. I was going through a lot of stuff. (Now) I’m in the final of a Masters event. I wouldn’t have (predicted) that, no way.”
‘I’M STILL FEELING PAIN’
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 20, 2017
Especially with his sore hip. “I’m rehabbing every day. I’m getting treatment for it. I’m seeing progress. It’s good enough to play,” he said.
“I’m still feeling pain in my hip. I’m not going to act as if it’s 100 percent. I’m just pushing through it.”
Kyrgios has support. He’ll train next week with US standout Jack Sock in Kansas City. At the US Open in New York, coach Sebastien Grosjean will meet him. Aussie doubles pal Matt Reid will be there too.
“From where I was in Washington to where I am now, he has been a big part of that,” Kyrgios said. “He puts me in a good head space, takes my mind off things a little bit… just keeps me grounded.” His Malaysian mother, Nill, is watching this week also.
“To have my mum there is unbelievable,” Kyrgios said. “She does little things like my washing. She loves to travel with me and see me play… and obviously me having success is really good for her to see.”
Wimbledon champion Roger Federer stayed on course for his third Rogers Cup title after defeating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 7-6 (7/5) to reach Sunday’s final in Montreal.
The Swiss second seed turned 36 earlier in the week and is back in action for the first time since his success over Marin Cilic at the All England Club, where he won a record eighth singles title.
Federer, who is hoping to close up on Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray the top of the world rankings with, broke back against Haase early in the first set to establish a 4-1 advantage, which he never looked like relinquishing.
Haase, the world number 52, made a contest of it in the second set as he held serve in a crucial 11th game which then brought up a tie-break.
Federer moved 4-1 ahead after securing a couple of mini-breaks, only for Haase to respond again by taking the next two points against serve and then moved 5-4 ahead.
However, Federer’s experience – having last won the tournament in 2006 and since been a beaten finalist on three occasions – saw him through as the world number three held twice to set up a match point, which he converted against the Haase serve at the first time of asking.
He will face either Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov in the final.
Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova withdrew from the WTA Bank of the West Classic just before her scheduled second-round match Wednesday with a left arm injury, tournament officials announced.
“We’re sad to announce that @mariasharapova has withdrawn after doctor’s advice regarding her left arm,” a post on the tournament’s Twitter feed said.
Sharapova played her first US match in more than two years on Monday, defeating American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 in an opening-round match at the hardcourt event in Stanford, California.
“Toward the end of the Monday night’s match, I felt pain in my left forearm,” Sharapova said Wednesday. “After yesterday’s scan, the doctor has recommended I don’t risk further injury.”
The former world number one from Russia hadn’t played in the US since March of 2015, before serving a 15-month doping suspension for the use of meldonium.
Seventh-seeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko advanced by walkover as a result of wildcard entrant Sharapova’s early exit.
“Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from today’s match,” Sharapova said. “Monday night’s crowd was so special and I wish I could continue playing but I have to make a preventative decision.”
The latest injury brings into question whether or not Sharapova will be fit in time for the US Open, which starts August 28, as well as for another key tuneup event in Cincinnati in two weeks for which Sharapova has also accepted a wildcard.
Sharapova, 30, returned to competition in April, but her comeback was disrupted by a hip injury that forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon qualifying.
Sharapova’s ranking has fallen to 171 in the world.
“I feel like I’m playing catch-up against everyone who has had a head start,” Sharapova said after her match. “All that matters is that I keep playing.”
Tsurenko next faces American Madison Keys who survived a test from Caroline Dolehide to reach the quarter-finals, rallying from a set down for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win.
The other day session singles match saw No.5 seed Ana Konjuh edge Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the last eight, where she’ll face Garbine Muguruza who cruised past American teenager Kayla Day 6-2, 6-0.
* Provided by AFP