Nick Kyrgios was happy to be reunited with his grass-court shoes and to dispose of “a hell of a player” in fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili as he powered into the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open.
It took just under two hours for the Australian maverick Kyrgios to subdue the challenge of Georgian Basilashvili on Thursday before he finally made it into the last eight of this event for the second time in his career, winning 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-3.
“He is a hell of a player, the world No.25 for a reason, and he has beaten some great opponents, so I knew he is dangerous,” Kyrgios said.
“When he gets in his groove he is hard to get out of. I am just really happy with the way I competed.”
Kyrgios, who also reached the semi-finals in this pre-Wimbledon event in 2018, looked in fine fettle after an eventful week which began with his bags going missing in transit en route from Australia to the German ATP event.
He had to play his first-round doubles match alongside Alexander Bublik in a pair of clay-court shoes before being reunited with his luggage in time for his singles clash against Czech Jiri Lehecka. He won both matches.
Against Basilashvili, the Australian needed to move into a higher gear, banging down 20 aces and winning 83 per cent of his first-serve points to set a meeting with Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who beat third seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 6-7 (9-11) 6-3.
Earlier, two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray defeated Bublik 6-3 7-6 (7-4) on Thursday to earn his last-eight place.
The 35-year-old Briton saved three set points in the second stanza, coming back from 5-2 down to win in one hour 42 minutes.
Murray will next meet No.1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-4 for his first win on grass since June 2019.
Shock of the day saw German Oscar Otte upset fourth seed Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) and set up a meeting with Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.
Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego beat another German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in a match which had been suspended on Wednesday due to rain. He’ll next play compatriot Matteo Berrettini.