Nick Kyrgios’ Wimbledon preparation continues as Polish Hubert Hurkacz loses the semi-final on Halle’s grass court

Nick Kyrgios has found himself in a battle between the monster servers when Hubert Hurkacz ruined the Australian’s hopes of reaching a first grass pitch final in Halle.

Kyrgios – in such brilliant form at the German event all week that he thought his first final on the green stuff was firmly on the map – met his match in an almost inevitable tie-break decider in Saturday’s semi-final, losing 6-4, 6-7 (7/2), 6-7 (7/4) to Hurkacz.

It was a major disappointment for the 27-year-old, but there was certainly enough in Kyrgios’ big week to cheer him on, with Wimbledon just over a week away.

The Australian was quite brilliant behind his own serve, unbroken and had only conceded two break points the entire game.

But in the end he was beaten at his own game when Hurkacz knocked down 27 aces, the most he has ever delivered in a match.

So Kyrgios, who was even more productive, with 30 aces, couldn’t take advantage of his first set dominance, when he was the more aggressive and ambitious of the pair.

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Neither player had a problem with their own throw until the ninth game of the opener, when two brilliant forehand winners helped Kyrgios make what would be the only break of the game to take a 5-4 lead.

He sealed the deal with two aces in the next game, but from then on he never really threatened Hurkacz with serving as the world’s number 12 Polish player began to grow his confidence.

With some inevitability, it all came down to a final tie-break shootout, with Hurkacz earning the crucial mini-break when Kyrgios failed to handle a driven deep service return.

“One or two shots made the difference,” admitted Hurkacz.

“Definitely super close. Nick played a really, really great game. He’s a great player, so it was definitely a super tough game.”