Nick Kyrgios needed three match points on Friday to finish off a 6-4 6-4 win over ATP next-gen rival Borna Coric to reach a second straight semi-final at the Estoril Open.
Kyrgios, a losing finalist a year ago at the event to France’s Richard Gasquet, sent over his 10th ace in a 69-minute outing to earn a pair of match points.
Croatian Coric, 19, saved both before falling on the Australian’s third chance.
Kyrgios will on Saturday play Spanish clay threat Nicolas Almagro, who defeated seventh seed Leonardo Mayer 6-4 7-6 (7-5).
Eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta put a Spaniard into the semis with a 6-3 6-4 upset over French top seed Gilles Simon.
Simon was playing the tournament for the first time in five years and had been training on the local clay since last weekend to get acclimated.
But his experience gained him little as he went down to Carreno Busta in 87 minutes, losing serve twice.
“It is the first time I’ve played him. He was very consistent,” Simon said.
“The match was close, but always on his side. He played the right shot at the right moment. He was the better player today. I’m feeling good, my shots are there, but it’s tough to win every match.”
Carreno Busta, ranked 50th, will face Benoit Paire after the French third seed overcame teething problems to defeat Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (6-2) 6-2.