Kyrgios wins battle of the serves with Karlovic in Malaysia

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Powering on: Kyrgios.

Seventh-seeded Nick Kyrgios outserved ace machine Ivo Karlovic to reach his second ATP semi-final of the season while fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov crashed out of the Malaysian Open on Saturday.

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The 20-year-old Aussie, whose mother is Malaysian, kept up his solid run in Kuala Lumpur this week with a tight 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) victory over Karlovic, who fired 13 aces to edge closer to Goran Ivanisevic’s record of 10,237 (stats recorded since 1991) but couldn’t bring his best when it mattered the most.

Karlovic is now 35 aces aware from the all-time mark.

Both Kyrgios and Karlovic won 75 per cent of their service points and the match saw no breaks of serve as Kyrgios booked a semi-final meeting with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

”It feels really good to be in the semi-finals,” said the 41st-ranked Kyrgios. “I knew today was going to be tough. I thought he served really well, but I thought I also served really well and looked after my serve.

“It was a fun match as well; it was really good. I thought I stayed composed and today was a really good performance.” 

Dimitrov was upset 6-4, 7-6 (3) by unseeded German Benjamin Becker, who takes on top-seeded David Ferrer in the last four.

The 33-year-old Ferrer, playing just his second tournament (he also played Davis Cup) since June having struggled with an elbow injury that forced him out of Wimbledon, eased past Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-4 is through to his sixth semi-final of the year. 

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