ESTORIL, Portugal: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios powered into his first ATP semi-final on Friday, beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 at the Estoril Open.
The seventh-seeded Kyrgios, ranked 46th and playing only his second event after returning from six weeks to rest an ankle injury, will next play Pablo Carreno Busta for a spot in the Sunday title match.
The clay-courting Spaniard put out Luxembourg’s eighth seed Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-4 in his quarter-final.
Kyrgios, who turned 20 at the start of the week, has played quarter-finals at Wimbledon and at the Australian Open but has never been able to connect on his big game at smaller ATP World Tour events.
Another young gun whose potential has been recently hyped was playing later on the Portuguese clay with 18-year-old Croatian Borna Coric facing experienced Spanish campaigner Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the 31-year-old winner of last weekend’s Bucharest title.
French fifth seed Richard Gasquet was hoping to extend his back injury comeback when he takes on Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, whose ranking of 174 reflects his own injury problems of 2014.
Kyrgios beat Haase, 28 and ranked 101, in just 56 minutes, firing seven aces and breaking three times.
The Australian who nearly got defaulted in his opening match for the offense of firing a ball in anger out of the small club stadium, kept his nerves in check in his latest victory.
Kyrgios quickly bounced back from an early break to level at 2-2 in the first set then broke for 4-2 and closed out the set in less than half an hour.
In the second, he broke midway through and eventually finished up the winner on his first match point.
Kyrgios was competing in only his third career Tour level quarter-final.