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Kyrgios to face Murray in Stuttgart semi

Nick Kyrgios will face Andy Murray for the seventh time on the ATP Tour in the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open.

Kyrgios, who also reached the semi-finals in this pre-Wimbledon event in 2018, went through when Hungarian opponent Marton Fucsovics had to withdraw during the second set. Kyrgios was leading 7-6 (7-3) 3-0.

Kyrgios, the world No.78, skipped the whole clay-court season but has been in good form in Germany.

The Australian put out the No.5 seed, Georgia’s Nikoloz Bailashvili, on Thursday and was again dominant on serve. Fucsovics was unable to gain so much as a break point before calling a halt.

Kyrgios and Murray are good friends despite their very different characters, but the Scot has won five of their previous six meetings.

Kyrgios said: “I know what to expect but he also is a veteran on the grass and I don’t want to take him lightly at all.

“I’m just going to go out there, serve big, look after my serve and see what I can do on his return games.”

Kyrgios and Murray last met at Queen’s before Wimbledon four years ago, when the Australian secured his only victory, in three sets, but theirs has been a compelling rivalry.

Before that the three-times grand slam winner had beaten Kyrgios on all five occasions, including at all four grand slams.

Earlier on Friday, Murray claimed one of his biggest wins since undergoing hip surgery in 2019 by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Murray, the world No.68, defeated the Greek top seed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes.

It is the first time Murray has beaten a player ranked in the world’s top five since 2016.

The 35-year-old Scot said on court: “It was an amazing atmosphere.

“Almost full crowd. Beautiful weather today, really nice conditions to play tennis. I thought I did well. He served unbelievably in the first set.

“I played a really solid tie-break and in the second set, once I was in the rallies, I felt like I was dictating a lot of the points. It was a good performance.”

The other semi-final will be between Germany’s Oscar Otte and Matteo Berrettini, of Italy.

In Nottingham, Australians Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin both moved into the semi-finals, where they will face each other.

Popyrin beat Britain’s Ryan Peniston 6-3 6-4, while Thompson defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 4-6 6-3.

In the women’s singles, Ajla Tomljanovic was beaten in straight sets by Viktorija Golubic 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

With PA/Reuters

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