Nick Kyrgios beats de Minaur at Canadian Masters; Auger-Aliassime, Ruud set up quarterfinal clash

The win will move Kyrgios high enough in the rankings to be seeded at the U.S. Open later this month.

Reuters

Nick Kyrgios hits a return against Alex de Minaur during Day 6 of the National Bank Open at Stade IGA on Thursday in Montreal, Canada. | Photo Credit: AFP

The win will move Kyrgios high enough in the rankings to be seeded at the U.S. Open later this month.

Australian Nick Kyrgios produced another extraordinary performance to demolish compatriot Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-3 at the Canadian Masters on Thursday, a day after stunning World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.

The fiery Wimbledon finalist has been playing the best tennis of his career and is showing no signs of slowing down in Montreal, where he won the first four games of the opening set in which de Minaur won scarcely more than half of his first-serve points.

The pair traded breaks to open the second set but the 27-year-old Kyrgios would not be denied, breaking de Minaur on the third try in the third game and again in the seventh.

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Kyrgios briefly appeared agitated when he gave up a break in the penultimate game but found his composure to get the job done in a little over an hour, breaking back to love in the final game.

The win will move Kyrgios high enough in the rankings to be seeded at the U.S. Open later this month.

Kyrgios on a mission to shed ‘wasted talent’ tag
“I’m doing this for a lot of people. (I) want to prove to myself that I can still play some amazing tennis. I’m doing it for a lot of people just so I can have a bit of peace and quiet, I can actually rest at nighttime. I feel like, compared to other players I deal with a lot of shit, negativity, bad media, bad articles, this, that, wasted talent, whatever. So I feel like when it’s all said and done, if I continue to play like this for a little bit, prove people wrong, I can just relax a little bit. Like, have a beer at a pub, not get bothered about it.”
‘Inspiring millions to be comfortable in their own skin’
“You guys kind of painted me to be this horrific person for like five years. But now I feel like it just kind of washed away. The true colours came through. Hopefully I’m inspiring millions of people to just go about their life or their sport or their career as they want to and be comfortable in their own skin.”
‘Tennis players have to be selfish’
“When they (fans) cross that line, then that’s when I start to get - that’s when I’ll probably talk back a little bit. You can’t be a super nice guy, a generous guy all the time on the court, otherwise I’d be terrible at the game. Tennis players have to be selfish. You have to walk around like you’re the best player in the world. You have to have that mentality.”

“I did what had to be done. He’s a hell of a player if you play to his strengths, he’s one of the best players from the back in the game, he’s just so fast,” Kyrgios said of de Minaur in on-court remarks after the match.

Kyrgios has won 15 of his last 16 matches and a day earlier produced a serve-and-volley masterclass to stun Medvedev 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2. He said the effort had certainly taken a toll.

“Incredibly tough, after yesterday’s big high playing Daniil. The crowd was amazing, it’s a day I’ll probably never ever forget,” he said.

“Today was really hard for me mentally to play Alex, we’re such good friends and he’s been having such a good career so far carrying the Australian flag. It’s just tough mentally, it’s never easy to play a friend like that, especially if they’re an Australian.”

Kyrgios next faces Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who he lost to at Halle in June, in the quarterfinal round.

While praising Hurkacz as a great player, Kyrgios said he felt his own opponents were a bit nervous seeing his form.

“I’ve got to use that to my advantage.”

Superb Auger-Aliassime

In other matches, Felix Auger-Aliassime harnessed his mighty serve to down Briton Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 to delight his home crowd, while Norwegian Casper Ruud outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut in a closely-fought three sets.

Competing in his local town of Montreal, the 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime sent over 15 aces and won all but three of his first-serve points, breaking in the penultimate game of both sets on Centre Court.

British number one Norrie made five double faults and never had the momentum against a clinical Auger-Aliassime, who collected his first ATP title in Rotterdam this year and wrapped up Thursday’s affair in a tidy 72 minutes.

“Montreal people are really proud people,” Auger-Aliassime was quoted as saying by the ATP, crediting the crowd with helping his performance.

“We are a small community in the world. We support each other in what we do, especially in professional sport.”

The U.S. Open semi-finalist will next face Norwegian Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals after the world number seven saw off Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4.