Nick Kyrgios has moved a step closer to claiming his second ATP World Tour Title, winning through to the Atlanta Open final.
In difficult conditions because of humidity, Kyrgios needed one hour and 36 minutes to see off Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 3-6 6-3 in their semi-final.
Kyrgios is the tournament’s second seed and after his decision to miss the Olympic Games the 21-year-old Australian said his confidence was high going into the final.
“It feels good. I knew at the start of the week that I could get this far. It’s not really surprising, but it’s rewarding for sure,” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios fired 16 aces and saved three of the four break points he faced.
He broke for a 3-1 lead in the first set with a forehand winner down the line and although Nishioka saved two set points in the eighth game, Kyrgios held his serve to love at 6-3.
Nishioka capitalised on a series of unforced errors from Kyrgios in the second set to send the semi-final into a decider.
But it didn’t take Kyrgios long to rediscover his rhythm, converting his fourth break point in the sixth game to seize an advantage.
“It was a hot and humid day,” Kyrgios said.
“Yoshi is a great player and makes you play a lot of balls and a lot of rallies.
“The crowd was great today too. I came out strong (in the third set) and that shows good fighting spirit.”
Nishioka said Kyrgios’ serve was the difference as he tried to match with the world No.18.
“I think I played very well, but he has a great serve,” Nishioka said.
“He has a great second serve and I didn’t have many chances to break. I couldn’t put pressure on his first serves either.”
Kyrgios, who broke through for his maiden ATP win in Marseille in February, will meet the winner of the second semi-final between John Isner and Reilly Opelka.
Isner is the three-time defending champion.