Australias Nick Kyrgios beat world No2 Novak Djokovic for the second time in as many weeks to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, where he will face Roger Federer
Australias Nick Kyrgios beat world No2 Novak Djokovic for the second time in as many weeks to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, where he will face Roger Federer.
The 21-year-old won 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) inside 110 minutes, with his serve again coming to the fore, as it did in Acapulco 12 days earlier, before veteran Federer saw off his longtime rival Rafael Nadal in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, in a re-run of Januarys Australian Open final.
It feels good. I knew what I had to do today, Kyrgios said. It was always going to be tough; he is a great champion.
Kyrgios put 25 aces past the 12-times grand slam champion in the Mexican Open quarter-finals and while that could not be matched that in California he managed 14 he still dominated to book a place in the last eight.
Kyrgios hit 25 winners past Djokovic, who was unable to bring up a single break point chance against the Australian No1.
Djokovic, the three-times defending champion at Indian Wells, had previously been unbeaten in 20 matches in the Californian desert over a period spanning four years.
The run was amazing, Djokovic said. It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today.
The Serb had looked in good shape during his third-round victory over Juan Martn del Potro, when he roared through the final set playing what he described as his best tennis of the year.
But he cut a frustrated figure against Kyrgios, who is looking to reach his third straight semi-final of the season.
Another high-profile opponent awaits after Federer despatched Nadal in just over an hour, breaking four times to register his third straight victory over the Spaniard.
Nadal still holds a 23-13 lead in their all-time head-to-head results, but he was always playing catch-up in California after being broken in the matchs opening game. He wasted a break-back opportunity in the second game and from then on Federer never looked back.
The main thing he take the break in the first game, and I had break point in the next game and come back and he had a good serve, Nadal said. When Roger has the advantage, his serve is so good, he has a lot of confidence with his serve, hes able to play much more relaxed.
Federer will meet Kyrgios, who identifies the Swiss as one of his favourite players of all time, for just the second time. The Australian won their only encounter to date, in Madrid two years ago.
I am serving really well, Kyrgios said. That is creating chances for me to put pressure on their service games. My mentality is improving and I am trying really hard to fight for every point and just compete.