Sport Tennis Nick Kyrgios advances in Japan after Stepanek pulls out

Nick Kyrgios advances in Japan after Stepanek pulls out

Nick Kyrgios Rio warning
The Aussie had an easy ride into the next round.
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Nick Kyrgios will face Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the Japan Open quarter-finals, with the Australian being gifted a run into the final eight.

The tournament’s sixth seed, Kyrgios moved through to the quarters without hitting a ball when his opponent Czech veteran Radek Stepanek withdrew with a back injury.

World No.106 Stepanek, who turns 38 next month, failed to take to the court.

He has been acting as a part-time mentor for 21-year-old Kyrgios, who has risen to 15th in the world rankings.

Kyrgios has won two titles this season, in Marseille and Atlanta, but faces an in-form player in Muller, the world No.36 who is just two spots shy of his highest ranking.

The 33-year-old overcame Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-4 in their second-round clash.

Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Juan Monaco and Joao Sousa have advanced to the quarters, with top seed Kei Nishikori pulling out with a back injury midway through Wednesday’s match with Sousa.

Second-seeded Gael Monfils overcame an injury scare and beat French compatriot Gilles Simon on Thursday to also secure a last-eight berth.

Monfils swept through the first set 6-1 but was trailing 4-1 in the second when he injured an ankle and had to call for the trainer.

Having received treatment, he returned to dominate the rest of the set and clinch a 6-1 6-4 victory.

“Somehow I got through my shots better when I came back, because maybe I was a bit worried.”

He will meet Ivo Karlovic or Janko Tipsarevic in the quarters.

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