By Victor Okoye
Nick Kyrgios stunned Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-6(3) on Thursday to secure his second victory over the world number two in less than two weeks and advance to the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Kyrgios, who beat Djokovic in the quarter-finals in Acapulco 13 days ago in their first career meeting, once again served exceptionally as he fired down 14 aces, won 86 percent of his first serves and did not face a break point the entire way.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Australian, who ended Djokovic’s 19-match unbeaten run at Indian Wells, will face Roger Federer in the quarter-finals after the Swiss beat Rafa Nadal in straight sets.
“The run was amazing. I am very proud of it, obviously,” Djokovic told reporters. “It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today.
“Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, he served so well. Just wasn’t managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well. So I guess that’s what made a difference.”
Kyrgios broke Djokovic in the opening game of the match en route to grabbing the first set and in the tiebreaker raced out to a 3-0 lead that was ultimately too much for Djokovic, who needed three sets to get by Juan Martin Del Potro on Tuesday.
In the second big match of the day, Roger Federer eliminated Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in a fourth-round match that saw the longtime rivals meeting much earlier in a tournament than usual.
AP reports that Federer broke Nadal four times in advancing to the quarterfinals in just over an hour. Although Nadal owns a 23-13 lead in their series, Federer has won the past three in a row, including an epic comeback in the Australian Open final two months ago.
Federer broke Nadal to open the match in front of a packed Stadium crowd.
Federer faced just one break point on his serve in the match, but he recovered with a big serve and two winning backhands to go up 2-0 in the first set.