Kyrgios wins showcase battle with Monfils to reach Tokyo final

Nick Kyrgios turned on his big game to overwhelm Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday for a place in the Japan Open final.

The Australian - who has lost serve only once this week - spent 90 minutes in dialling in the game of Monfils as two of the most noted showman on the ATP faced off for the second time, with Monfils keeping the struggle competitive throughout.

Kyrgios will play for the trophy on Sunday against David Goffin, who turned the tables on Marin Cilic after going down an early break on the way to a 7-5, 6-4 win in their semi-final.

The 15th-ranked Kyrgios is one victory away from a third title this season following Marseille and Atlanta; Goffin is looking for a third career trophy.

Both finalists are gaining ground as they jockey for positions in the field at next month's eight-man season wrapup event in London.

Kyrgios is now on 12th while Goffin is one better on 11th but could move to ninth by earning the title.

Kyrgios showed more of the brilliance he has brought to the court all week, breaking Monfils three times as he won his 37th match of the year.

“It was an unbelievable match, we both played very well,” Kyrgios said. “The crowd loved it and we both had a lot of fun out there.

"Not many people on tour can hit the type of shots Gael can. He’s an unbelievable entertainer and athlete.

"We play different games. I rely on my serve more, but I want to work to become as athletic as he is and also be an entertainer like him.”  Monfils was also pleased with his showing despite the defeat.

“It was a high-quality match, Nick was better than me today. We’re athletes and we need to accept that sometimes," he said.

"But it does not change my mindset at all for Shanghai or London. I’ve played some good matches here this week.”

Goffin meanwhile struck back after going down a first-set break against Croatian Cilic, who will lead his nation in the Davis Cup final against Argentina in Zagreb.

After trailing 5-3, Goffin immediately broke back and eventually claimed the set after almost an hour. The second set went faster as Goffin reached his first final of the year after just over 90 minutes on court.

The win polished Goffin's record over Cilic to 3-0 after defeating the Croatian this season at Indian Wells and in a Davis Cup rubber in March.

"I played much better today, I was not nervous like in some other matches," Goffin said. "It’s a small mental thing, but once you are comfortable and playing freely, it makes a big difference on the court.”

Last update: Sat, 08/10/2016 - 12:46

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