Sport Tennis Kyrgios loses in ‘epic’ fight against Federer in Miami Open semi-final
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Kyrgios loses in ‘epic’ fight against Federer in Miami Open semi-final

Nick Kyrgios
Kyrgios smashed his racket in frustration but still managed a warm handshake with Federer after losing their hard-fought duel in Miami. Photo: AAP
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Australian Nick Kyrgios has come up just short of reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final, after going down to Roger Federer in an enthralling Miami Open semi-final.

Kyrgios survived two match points in the second-set but could not save a third as Swiss fourth-seed Federer prevailed 7-6 (11-9) 6-7 (9-11) 7-6 (7-5) in a contest that lasted three hours and nine minutes.

He threw everything he had into the gruelling three-set encounter and was forced to put up with an incredibly inhospitable crowd, reported the ABC.

The umpire was forced to remind the crowd to remain silent during points and to “please show respect for both players”.

Despite the hostile crowd, Kyrgios fired back with aggression, flare and even a “monster” serve in the third-set tie breaker before double-faulting and handing Federer the chance to serve for the match.

Federer had won eight straight tie-breaks before dropping the second set to No.10 seed Kyrgios.

After winning one of the matches of the year, Federer progresses to a third meeting with longtime rival Rafael Nadal in 2017 – and 37th in total.

The Swiss ace has won both encounters in 2017, including the Australian Open final.

Nadal was so eager to reach the final for a fifth time that he ran out of his shoe.

Chasing a shot in the second set of the semi-final against unseeded Fabio Fognini, Nadal lost his right sneaker – and the point.

But the Spanish fifth-seed quickly regained his footing in a routine 6-1 7-5 victory.

Nadal is still searching for a breakthrough Miami trophy after being a losing finalist at Key Biscayne in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014.

Federer will meet Nadal in the final on Sunday. Photo: AAP
Federer will meet Nadal in the final on Sunday. Photo: AAP

He is playing in the tournament for the 13th time, making it his longest title drought at any event.

“For me the most important thing is to be in the final,” Nadal told the crowd.

“That’s great news for me.”

Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, played down the importance of having so much big-match experience in Miami.

“I don’t think that’s going to affect in terms of helping me to win or helping me to lose.

“That’s a long time ago.

“Last final was in 2011 … it’s no more pressure for me to play here the final than playing in Monte-Carlo or playing in Indian Wells.

“Winning here would be something great, an important title that I didn’t win.

“But winning or losing, being honest, [it’s] not going to change my career.”

—AAP/ABC

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