Nishioka Upsets Top Seed Rublev to Reach DC Finals


By Erik Gudris | @ATNTennis | Saturday, August 6, 2022

World No. 96 Yoshihito Nishioka’s dream week in DC continues as he reached the Citi Open final where he’ll play Nick Kyrgios.

Photo credit: Citi Open Facebook

The dream week for Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in Washington D. continued as he reached his first career 500 final toppling top seed Andrey Rublev.

Nishioka put in a bravura performance to seal the 6-3, 6-4 win over the eighth-ranked Rublev.

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“I love to play here, I have been here many times. But for tomorrow, everyone loves Nick as well. Hopefully still they… the crowd (will) cheer for me, but just (going to) enjoy the day tomorrow, Nishioka said after the match.

DC has been a breakthrough week for Nishioka who had not won an ATP tour-level match since Miami in March. Nishioka battled past Alex de Minaur, Jenson Brooksby, Karen Khachanov, and Dan Evans before meeting Rublev in Saturday’s semifinal.

Nishioka, who needed over three hours to defeat Evans in his last match, looked none the wearer in the high level semifinal. The current World No. 96 Nishioka jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over a frustrated Rublev who could not handle his opponent from the baseline.

Soon, Nishioka served up an ace to close out the first set 6-3.

Despite Rublev trying to control things with his forehand, it didn’t help his cause. Nishioka in the second set earned the key service break to take a 4-3 advantage. Soon Nishioka served out the match to reach his biggest yet career title.

Nishioka now faces Nick Kyrgios in the final. Kyrgios won the DC title back in 2019 and has beaten Nishioka in their last three meetings.

“We’ve played many times, but he beat me every time since (we were) 16 years old. It is really tough to play against him,” Nishioka said. “He doesn’t have any pace, he just hits the ball so hard every time and most of his serves, which (is) very tough to break his service games.

“The most important thing is I have to focus on my service games.”

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