Saturday, October 3, 2015

‘Half-Kampung’ Kid Nick Kyrgios Powers Past ‘King Of Aces’ Ivo Karllovic

Aussie Nick Kyrgios, or the ‘Half-Kampung’ Kid as he is affectionately known here, continued his fine run in the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2015 with a 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-2) upset victory over third seed Ivo Karlovic in today’s quarterfinal match played on the Centre Court of Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

It was the third consecutive straight sets victory in the tournament for the 20-year-old, who racked up eleven aces to Karlovic’s 13, including two in a row to close out a tight 84-minute match in which neither player managed to break the other’s serve.

“I knew today was going to be tough. I thought I served really well and looked after my serve. It was a fun match as well. It was really good. I think knowing that I can beat guys with big serves gives me confidence. I thought today was very important,” said the world No.41, who will face Feliciano Lopez in Saturday’s semifinal as he tries to win his first career title.

‘King of Aces’ Karlovic leaves Kuala Lumpur just 35 aces shy of the ATP World Tour record for career aces held by fellow Croat Goran Ivanisevic (10,237).

Second seeded world No.17 Lopez fought back from a set down to defeat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-7(2-7), 6-3, 6-2 in a passionate two-hour long encounter.

The Spaniard will be attempting to make his second final of the season, after missing out on his 5th career title in his other final this year at Quito.

“I think I played a great match compared to yesterday. I was getting better and better as the match grew longer. It’s going to be tough against Nick. He’s an aggressive player and he has the weapons - he has the serve and the forehand. It’s an exciting match to play against one of the ‘young guns’ in the tour right now,” the 34-year-old said.

Top seed and world No.8 David Ferrer needed just 70 minutes to overcome the challenge of Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-4 and move into the Malaysian Open semifinal for the third time (also in 2010 & 2012), where he will face Benjamin Becker.

“I feel better than yesterday. It was a great match for me. (My semifinal tomorrow against) Becker is going to be tough. He has had a good week, winning (Jeremy) Chardy and (Grigor) Dimitrov. I will have to play like tonight - consistent and aggressive with my forehand,” the 33-year-old former world No. 3 said.

Earlier in the day, Germany’s Becker once again upset the odds to defeat fourth seed Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(7-3) in 95 minutes and move into his first ATP World Tour semifinal since Tokyo last year.

The match looked destined for a decider with world No. 19 Dimitrov 5-2 up in the second set, but the 34-year-old Becker responded superbly by saving set point and taking four of the next five games for a memorable victory. The world No.74 ranked player can look forward to a jump in the rankings next week with at least 90 points in the bag.

“I played very solidly I think from start to finish and I didn’t let myself down when he broke me in the second set. I had a little bit of luck in the second set (when Grigor missed his set point opportunity) but I felt good during the whole match and I think it was a good performance from me,” Becker said.

In doubles matches, second seeded Pilipino-Finnish pair Treat Huey and Henri Kontinen booked their spot in Sunday’s final with a come from behind 6-7(2-7), 7-6(7-2), 10-7 super tie-breaker victory over Andre Begemann and Artem Sitak.

Meanwhile, 2010 champion Frantisek Cermak (w/ Michal Mertinak) and Radek Stepanek ousted third seeds Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky with a 6-4, 6-4 win in 67 minutes to set up a semifinal clash with top seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram on Saturday.

Saturday’s matches begin with Kyrgios v Lopez from 2.15pm on Centre Court, followed by Ferrer v Becker (not before 4.30pm) and the remaining doubles semifinal.

Off the court, top doubles seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram took part in a ‘Health Check’ and autograph session at the KPJ Healthcare booth located at Putra Stadium.

Once again the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur is making the event affordable for all Malaysians. Ticket prices range from RM10 to RM620 and can be purchased now on-line via the tournament website, at TicketCharge outlets or through the ticket hotline at TicketCharge Ph: 603-9222 8811.

The tournament would like to thank its suite of official sponsors. In addition to the distinguished support of the Event Patron, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia, Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the event is proud to have prestigious commercial sponsors that include KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Rado, CNN International, the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Wilson, 100 Plus, the Albukhary Foundation, Astro and the ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Corona. 


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