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Kyrgios win streak ended by Hurkacz; Halep fights off Gauff rally

August 13, 2022 04:15 IST
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Poland's Hubert Hurkacz celebrates victory over Australia's Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open, at IGA Stadium in Montreal, Canada, on Friday.

IMAGE: Poland's Hubert Hurkacz celebrates victory over Australia's Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open, at IGA Stadium in Montreal, Canada, on Friday. Photograph: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nick Kyrgios's nine-match winning streak ended in the Canadian Masters semi-finals on Friday when eighth-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz blasted his way to a 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-1 victory.

Enjoying a superb run of form, the loss was Kyrgios's first since falling to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

 

Since then the 27-year-old has been on a roll, including a title at the Citi Open, before running into Hurkacz who improves his record to 2-0 against the Australian following a three sets win earlier this year in the Halle semi-finals.

"Nick has been playing really unbelievable throughout the past few months," said Hurkacz. "Battling against him, it's very challenging, but it's also fun.

"He can make every single shot. He doesn't really have that many weaknesses, if any. I was just trying to serve good and stay aggressive."

Hurkacz will next face Norwegian fourth seed Caper Ruud who strolled into the last four by sweeping aside sixth-seeded hometown favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-2.

Nick Kyrgios makes a forehand return against Hubert Hurkacz.

IMAGE: Nick Kyrgios makes a forehand return against Hubert Hurkacz. Photograph: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kyrgios shrugged off the end of his winning streak, saying in his usual blunt fashion that he could not care less and was more interested in getting home after the U.S. Open to see his mother and father, who are not well.

"I honestly don't care," said Kyrgios, adding that he would head to Cincinnati as soon as possible where he will continue his build-up to the U.S. Open. "I've been away from home, away from my mum, away from my dad.

"They're not very well at the moment.

"So I don't really care about 'no winning streak'.

"I got two more tournaments (Cincinnati and the US Open) left before I can go home."

The two big servers pounded away at each other on Centre Court with Hurkacz blasting 20 aces and Kyrgios hitting back with 19 in a contest that produced two breaks, both going to the Pole in the final set.

Kyrgios started the match serving at a quick-fire pace as the opening set reached a tiebreak in 33 minutes with Hurkacz winning it.

After holding serve to open the second, Kyrgios had a superb opportunity to take control with triple break point but was unable convert.

Hurkacz would also have his opportunities but could not get the elusive break as the second set again sped to a tiebreak -this time won by Kyrgios who clinched the set with an ace.

What had been a tight contest suddenly turned in the third when Hurkacz, helped by a pair of Kyrgios double faults, secured the first break.

With the help of yet another Kyrgios double-fault Hurkacz broke the Australian again to go 5-1 up and held serve to book his place in the last four.

Halep fights off Gauff rally to make semis

Romania's Simona Halep, left, shakes hands with Coco Gauff after their quarter-final.

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep, left, shakes hands with Coco Gauff after their quarter-final. Photograph: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Romania's Simona Halep fought off a late rally from Coco Gauff to secure a nervy 6-4, 7-6(2) win on Friday and advance to the Canadian Open semi-finals for a fifth time.

Twice champion Halep, up a set and leading 4-1 in the second, looked headed for an easy passage into the last four.

But Gauff dug in and rallied to force the second set to a tiebreak before 15th-seeded Halep finish off the 10th seed in the tiebreak to maintain her dominance over the American.

In four career meetings, including three this year, Gauff has yet to take a set off Halep, who next faces another American in seventh seed Jessica Pegula - a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.

"I'm really pleased with the way I stayed there strong mentally," said Halep, after reaching her 29th career semi-final at a WTA 1000 event - more than any other player.

"And I fought for every point which was really important because she's doing the same thing. Mentally I'm strong even if I struggled a little bit in the second set."

Halep certainly struggled in the second as she twice served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 only to be broken each time.

But the twice Grand Slam winner refocused in the tiebreak to stop the contest going to a third and registered her 36th win this season behind only Iga Swiatek (48) and Ons Jabeur (37).

The 30-year-old also had to wrestle with her serve, committing eight double faults while giving French Open finalist Gauff plenty of chances with 12 break opportunities.

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Source: REUTERS
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