Composed Kyrgios beats Zverev to set up Nadal showdown
Nick Kyrgios will face Rafael Nadal in the final of the China Open after beating a furious Alexander Zverev in straight sets.
Kyrgios produced a composed display in Beijing on Saturday, winning 6-3 7-5 to set up a showdown with world number one Nadal.
The eighth seed from Australia delivered a superb service exhibition and came up with 25 winners to Zverev's seven, reaching the final in his first appearance at this tournament.
There was a sense of deja vu when second seed Zverev double-faulted to gift Kyrgios the chance to serve out the first set and did the same again in the second to go 6-5 down.
Zverev demolished his racket after that crucial double in the second and Kyrgios served out the match in assured fashion.
Kyrgios, eyeing a first title of the year, beat Zverev's older brother, Mischa, in the second round and looked full of confidence from the start against the younger sibling.
The Brisbane native had a first-serve percentage of 79 in the opening set and mixed up his approach effectively, fending off only one break point before Zverev threw in a double fault under pressure.
A fired-up Kyrgios punched the air after winning the first point of the second set with a fierce volley at the net and two break points were his reward for a sublime passing shot, but Zverev got himself out of trouble to hold.
Both players were solid on serve and it appeared a second-set tie-break would be on the cards until Zverev double-faulted again at such a key moment, hammering his racket into the ground and tossing it over his seat in fury, and Kyrgios finished off the job with an accomplished hold.