Estoril - Injury comeback kings Richard Gasquet and Nick Kyrgios defeated
dangerous quarter-final opponents in straight sets to move into the semi-finals
of the Estoril Open on Friday.
Fifth seed Gasquet, a two-time finalist who has been dealing with a back
injury, came from 2-5 down in the second set for a 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) defeat of
Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.
Australian Kyrgios, seeded seventh, will compete in his first ATP semi-final
after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4.
Kyrgios missed six weeks of the season after injuring an ankle in mid-March
at Indian Wells.
Gasquet will now try and end the eight-match clay court win streak of
Spain's experienced Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the 31-year-old winner of last
weekend's Bucharest title.
Garcia-Lopez put out teenaged Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), rallying
from a 5-1 deficit in the second set -- and saving four set points -- after
winning the first.
Gasquet was pleased to get past Almagro, one of seven active players with
200 clay court career wins.
"It's always a battle with him," said the 28th-ranked Gasquet.
"He's physically strong and doesn't miss much. He is one of the best on
"I've said all week it's too early to speak of the final, I have
another tough match to play. We will see what will happen.
"My back has been improving all week and I'm serving and playing with
Kyrgios, ranked 46th, 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 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
"I felt very confident, I moved well and served well, I'm very happy
with my game right now," he said.
"I was solid and feel like I'm improving with each match."
But Kyrgios warned: "I'm certainly not the favourite against Pablo
Carreno Busta. He was born and grew up playing on clay and loves these
conditions. It will be very tough for me."
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 firing a
ball in anger out of the small club stadium, kept his nerves in check in his
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.
Results on the fifth day of the Estoril Open on Friday (x denotes seeded player):
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x7) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-3, 6-4
Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP) bt Gilles Muller (LUX x8) 6-2, 6-4
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Borna Coric (CRO) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Richard Gasquet (FRA x5) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4)