By: Ben Raby (www.twitter.com/benraby31)
The stage is set for Championship Sunday from Rock Creek Park, where Nick Kyrgios (right) is on the cusp of Citi Open history. Never before in the tournament’s rich 53-year history has a male champion captured both the singles and doubles crowns in the same week.
Kyrgios can be the first to pull the feat after securing a pair of wins Saturday night to reach the finals in both draws. Kyrgios will face Yoshihito Nishioka in the men’s singles final on Stadium Court (not before 5 p.m.), before teaming with Jack Sock against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek for the men’s doubles crown.
“Look, if I am able to take home the trophy in both the events, it's probably going to be my favorite week of my career so far,” Kyrgios said. “It's going to overtake the Wimbledon final, for sure”
Kyrgios advanced to the men’s final with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Mykael Ymer in the first semifinal on Stadium Court Saturday evening. With a cotton-candy twilight sky serving as the backdrop on a comfortable summer night, the sellout crowd was witness to a workmanlike showing from Kyrgios.
The Aussie hasn’t lost his serve the entire tournament and didn’t face a single break point against Ymer.
“This is just the result of the last six months and the amount of work I have done,” said Kyrgios, who has now reached the semifinals (or better) in five of his last six events.
“Consciously trying to get into good habits, be positive and try to work on new things on court. Regardless of how [Sunday] goes in both finals, I think it's a hell of an achievement. In one week, I think to make both finals is pretty special. I'm super excited.”
Nishioka advanced to his first career ATP 500-level final with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over No.1 seed Andrey Rublev. Nishioka enters the final having won five matches in as many days for the first time in his Tour-level career.
Along the way, the Washington Kastles alum saved a match point against No.11 Alex de Minaur in the second round, and rallied from a break down in the third set in the quarterfinals against Daniel Evans.
“I never gave up, that’s a big thing,” Nishioka said in his on-court post-match interview. “This week, I never gave up in any match and that’s why I’m here.”
While Kyrgios will be seeking his seventh career ATP title, Nishioka will be aiming for his second (Delray Beach, 2020).
Kyrgios and Nishioka have met three times on Tour, with Kyrgios owning a 3-0 edge in their ATP Head2Head series. Their most recent meeting came in the second-round of the 2019 Citi Open- a week that culminated with Kyrgios winning the title.
Kyrgios is now in position to join a select group of champions who have multiple DC singles title. Nine men have pulled the feat previously including legends Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.