Kyrgios ends five-year drought with upset win
Nick Kyrgios defeated American seventh seed Tommy Paul in straight sets to advance into the final eight of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.
The Australian wildcard has made no secret of his disdain for the slower surface but managed to surprise himself, continuing his impressive form on clay taking the match in a little over an hour to win 6-4 6-2.
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While there weren’t any outbursts from the volatile Australian, he exhibited plenty of class on the court with underarm serves and several passing shots featuring in the dominant performance.
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The 26-year-old slammed home 10 aces and saved all six of his breaks points while he broke world No.34 Paul in the fifth game of the first and twice in the second to set up a clash with Michael Mmoh.
“This was one of my best ever matches on clay,” Kyrgios said after beating Paul.
Mmoh beat Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4 in the second round to advance.
Mmoh, who had a bye into round two after No. 1 seed Casper Ruud dropped out because of a wisdom tooth problem, qualified to a tour-level quarterfinal for the third time in his career.
Querrey, who has reached the final in Houston twice, was defeated after advancing to the quarter-finals of this tournament in five of the previous six seasons.
Kyrgios began the week with his first win on clay since 2019 when he beat Mackenzie McDonald in three sets on Tuesday. This is the first time he’s won consecutive matches on clay at the same tournament since the Madrid Masters in 2017.
He said before the tournament that Houston would be the only clay tournament he would play this year, confirming he will miss the European clay season.
Kyrgios has actively avoided playing at Roland Garros in recent years but announced during the week he is planning to return to Paris next season, marking his first visit to the grand slam since 2017.
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