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Kyrgios to meet Federer in Miami semis

Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Miami Open.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Miami Open. ERIK S. LESSER

NICK Kyrgios was at his sparkling best - and he needed to be - while booking a semi-final date with Roger Federer at the Miami Open.

The Aussie star met 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev for the second time in his career and maintained his status as the most promising young gun in the game with his second victory, 6-4 6-7 (11-9) 6-3.

After taking 41 minutes to claim the first set, Kyrgios opened the second with one of the most impressive between-the-legs shots of his career.

He followed that with a crowd-pleasing act of chivalry, when he encouraged Zverev to challenge a baseline call, which fell in his opponent's favour.

Kyrgios, perhaps conscious of how often he goes viral for negative moments, responded to the crowd's congratulations by saying: "I want to see that on social media."

Tennis TV obliged and Kyrgios created more Twitter chatter when shortly after he was given a time violation warning by the chair umpire. He replied "yeah, give one to Rafa" - in reference to Spanish star Rafael Nadal's reputation for taking longer than any player on the tour to get through his service games.

Zverev took the second set in a tiebreaker as the two tyros traded blows from the back of the court. The German survived two match points to level the breaker at 6-6, before serving an ace to earn a set point of his own.

Kyrgios responded with his 11th ace of the match and a service winner to gain his third match point, but after taking control of the rally with a backhand down the line, hit a drop shot that bounced far too high to miss his chance.

Two ridiculous backhand lobs - one which left Kyrgios stranded and another which forced him to play a tweener into the net - allowed the world No.20 to level the match at a set apiece.

But consistently doing more running along the baseline appeared to catch up with Zverev in the third as Kyrgios broke in the sixth game on his way to a sensational win.

The Canberra native looms as the main threat to a repeat Federer-Rafael Nadal final, after the two veterans met at Indian Wells.

Kyrgios was scheduled to play Federer in the quarter-finals of the California event but was forced to pull out of their match after suffering a bout of food poisoning.

In Miami, Federer survived a match point in an unusually tight three-set win against a man he usually dominates, Tomas Berdych.

The 6-2 3-6 7-6 (8-6) victory came a day after Nadal booked a semi-final berth against Italian world No.40 Fabio Fognini, who upset Japan's Kei Nishikori.

Topics:  alexander zverev atp tour miami open nick kyrgios roger federer

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