Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios (R) shakes hands with Swiss tennis player Stan Wawrinka (L) after winning their Mexico ATP 500 Open men's single tennis match in Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico on February 28, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Acapulco: Nick Kyrgios overcame a hand injury, leg cramps and a strong performance from Stan Wawrinka to prevail 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 and advance to the semi-finals of the Acapulco International on Thursday.

The mercurial Australian, who defeated Rafa Nadal the night before in a match where the Spaniard later criticised Kyrgios’ on-court demeanour, was focused in the quarter-final and outplayed Wawrinka in the match’s biggest moments despite crowd that vocally backed the Swiss.

“I actually play better when the crowd is against me and giving me a bit of stink,” the 23-year-old said.

“I love it. It gets me going.”

The night did not begin well for the hard-hitting Kyrgios, who slipped while thumping a backhand in the match’s opening game, opening up a cut on his right hand that required medical attention.

Leg cramps, which also required a visit from the trainers, followed in the deciding set but nothing could derail Kyrgios, who won his final service game at love to keep his hopes of a maiden championship at the tournament alive.

“In the first game I just tripped over. I’m not the smoothest mover on tour and I tripped over and grazed my hand,” he said.

“And the cramping was tough toward the end.”

Earlier in the day Briton Cameron Norrie cruised past American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2 to book his ticket to the semis.

Norrie will face second-seeded German Alexander Zverev, who did not face a break point en route to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Australian Alex de Minaur.