Nick Kyrgios thrills with 'tweener' shots and sportsmanship as he sets up Federer battle at Miami Open

Chris Graham
The Telegraph
Nick Kyrgios returns a shot between his legs to Alexander Zverev at the Miami Open - FR171502 AP
Nick Kyrgios returns a shot between his legs to Alexander Zverev at the Miami Open - FR171502 AP

Nick Kyrgios put on a show at the Miami Open on Thursday night as the in-form Australian dazzled with multiple "tweener" shots during his victory over Alexander Zverev

With his 6-4 6-7 6-3 defeat of the German, the 21-year-old set up a semi-final clash with Roger Federer, who earlier beat Tomas Berdych in a captivating quarter-final.

Kyrgios has undoubted potential but he has developed a "bad boy of tennis" reputation for his on-court tantrums.  

On Thursday night, however, he let his tennis do the talking - mostly - by pulling off a series of between-the-legs shots.

He also drew applause for encouraging  Zverev to challenge a baseline call which fell in his opponent’s favour.

“I want to see that on social media,” said Kyrgios, who has seen his much-criticised antics spread online in the past. 

The internet didn't disappoint, with clips of his shots and good sportsmanship quickly becoming the talk of Twitter.

He couldn't resist one did at the umpire, however. After receiving a time violation warning, he replied, “yeah, give one to Rafa”, in reference to Rafael Nadal’s reputation for taking his time during his service games.

Kyrgios and Zverev will be doing battle at the top of the game long after Federer has called time on his career on the evidence of their quarter-final.

The brilliant serving of Kyrgios, which delivered his two wins over Novak Djokovic, was again on display as he failed to face a break point throughout against the German.

A straight sets win looked on the cards, but Zverev raised his game and saved three match points in the second-set tiebreak, only for the Australian to bounce back strongly to take the decider.

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