FOR the second time in as many weeks, Nick Kyrgios will seek a shot at Roger Federer when he faces rising German star Alexander Zverev at the Miami Open.
Suspected food poisoning in Indian Wells forced Kyrgios out of a quarter-final clash with Federer, who subsequently advanced to his second title of an astonishing season.
Kyrgios kept alive hopes of a semi-final appointment in Miami with the Australian Open champion after eclipsing Belgian star David Goffin 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach the last eight.
Kyrgios hit 12 aces to improve his 2017 record to 13 wins from 16 matches and, just as it had been against Ivo Karlovic in the third round, Kyrgios’ under-rated defence proved decisive.
He offered only two break points for the match and underlined impressive resolve by breaking Goffin’s serve in the second set for a 3-1 lead after a game stretching 26 points and 13 minutes.
“I thought my level in the first set was pretty ordinary from the back (of the court),’’ said Kyrgios.
“I came out with no energy and some days are like that. Two years ago I’m not going to fight through the struggles.
“My serve got me through the first set. My backhand was at times pretty awful and at times it was pretty clutch.’’
Kyrgios beat teenager Zvererv in Indian Wells in a contest dubbed the “battle of the next generation.”
Tasty #MiamiOpen quarter-finals…
🇩🇪Zverev v Kyrgios🇦🇺
🇨🇭Federer v Berdych🇨🇿
🇪🇸Nadal v Sock🇺🇸
🇮🇹Fognini v Nishikori🇯🇵
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 29, 2017
Zverev rocked top seed Stan Wawrinka 4-6 6-2 6-1 after saving match points against John Isner in the previous round.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to my day off tomorrow,’’ Kyrgios said.
“He’s younger than I am, and everyone knows what he’s capable of. He’s a great player.’’
Kyrgios has been scheduled to play on Friday, presenting the Canberran with the chance to recover physically after two gruelling matches.
Kyrgios has been named to spearhead Australia’s Davis Cup quarter-final campaign against the US in Brisbane next week.
Originally published as Kyrgios eyes showdown with ‘The Greatest’