Tokyo - Nick Kyrgios thumped Gilles Muller in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo on Friday.
The sixth-seeded Australian needed just 71 minutes to defeat Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-2 to set-up a highly-anticipated clash against second seed Gael Monfils of France, who beat the big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6(6), 7-6(6).
Kyrgios got off to the perfect start when he broke the left-handed Muller in the opening game of the first set, then things went with serve until 5-4 where the Aussie saved two break points to win the opener 6-4.
In the second it was all Kyrgios, who broke Muller’s serve twice, in the first and fifth games, to seal the win on his third match point having served a total of 18 aces over the two sets.
In an interview afterwards, Kyrgios said he played well and was happy with how things went.
“I thought I played great today,” Kyrgios said. “I served well, returned well and my engagement level was really good the whole time.”
“I love playing in Japan, even back when I was a junior,” Kyrgios said. “The crowd is always enthusiastic. They’re always clapping, making noise. It’s fun to play in front of them. You can tell they’re different.”
In other quarter-final action, fourth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia played well to beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 7-5, 6-1 to set-up a meeting with fifth seed David Goffin of Belgium who battled past Portugal's Joao Sousa 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.