Nick Kyrgios didn’t have his serve broken but still fell just short of qualifying for a second ATP decider after losing to Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open.
Kyrgios fell to the second seed 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) in a tight encounter, Lopez lifting his level in both tiebreaks to progress to the decider against the winner of the match between David Ferrer and Benjamin Becker.
Still, it was a strong comeback tournament for Kyrgios who had his share of dramas in the back half of this year, his sledging of opponent Stan Wawrinka and non-selection for Australia’s Davis Cup semi-final capping a difficult few months.
But having lost in the first round here last year the 20 year-old will enjoy a handy rankings boost after making the last four.
Kyrgios lost his only ATP final, to Richard Gasquet on clay at the Estoril Open in Portugal back in May.