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Kyrgios cruises, Sinner survives marathon to set up meeting at Miami Open

Nick Kyrgios has won six of his last seven matches. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

By Ricky Dimon

Nick Kyrgios is playing some of the best tennis of his career and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Coming off a quarterfinal performance in Indian Wells, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in a three-set thriller, Kyrgios is one win away from reaching the same stage of the Miami Open after firing past Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon. The Aussie struck 10 aces compared to just one double-fault and did not face a single break point while coasting in one hour and one minute.

“I wanted to keep the momentum going,” said Kyrgios, whose momentum began with the Australian Open doubles title (partnering Thanasi Kokkinakis). “As soon as I had break points, I wanted to take them. I served well and I am happy to be through. I am just returning well. My doubles has helped me a lot on [the] singles court. The way I am serving and returning is quite a sight to see.”

Jannik Sinner saved five match points overcoming Pablo Carreno Busta. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

The pressure will be on to do both again on Tuesday, because up next for the 25-year-old is another Italian–and an even tougher one–in the form of Jannik Sinner.

Heading into only his third match of the fortnight, Sinner is already on his third life. The 2021 Miami runner-up survived three match points against Emil Ruusuvuori and then saved five during a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday. Sinner fought off one at 4-5 in the second and four more at 4-5 in the third, finally completing his comeback from 5-2 down in the decider after three hours and 12 minutes.

Kyrgios and Sinner were also supposed to face each other in the Indian Wells fourth round last week, but the 20-year-old withdrew because of an illness.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.