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.