Nick Kyrgios was happy to be reunited with his football boots and to have sold “a great player” in the fifth series from Nikoloz Basilashvili as he reached the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open.
It took just under two hours for Australian maverick Kyrgios to master the challenge from Georgian Basilashvili on Thursday before finally making his way to the last eight of this event for the second time in his career, taking 6-7 (4-7 ) 6 won. -4 6-3.
“He’s a great player, number 25 in the world for a reason, and he’s beaten some great opponents, so I knew he was dangerous,” Kyrgios said.
“When he gets into his rhythm, he’s hard to get out of. I’m just really happy with the way I performed.”
Kyrgios, who also made it to the semi-finals in this pre-Wimbledon event in 2018, was looking good after an eventful week that started with his bags disappearing in transit on his way from Australia to the German ATP event.
He had to play his first round of doubles 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 games.
Against Basilashvili, the Australian had to gear up, knock back 20 aces and win 83 percent of his first serve points to arrange a meeting with Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who beat third-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 6-7 defeated (9-11) 6-3.
Previously, two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray defeated Bublik 6-3 7-6 (7-4) on Thursday to earn his last eighth place finish.
The 35-year-old Briton saved three set points in the second stanza and came back from 5-2 to win in one hour and 42 minutes.
Murray then meets #1 seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-4 for his first win on grass since June 2019.
The shock of the day saw German Oscar Otte upset fourth seed Denis Shapovalov with 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) and arrange a meeting with Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.
Lorenzo Sonego from Italy defeated another German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in a game that was halted on Wednesday due to rain. He then plays compatriot Matteo Berrettini.
By Ian Chadband in Saint Albans