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Kyrgios vs Isner ATP Acapulco Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Big-serving duo, Kyrgios and Isner battle for a spot in the Acapulco final

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 1 Mar 2019
  • Nick Kyrgios vs John Isner is live from Acapulco on Friday, 1 March from 10:00pm local time/ 4:00am GMT (Saturday morning)
  • Isner and Kyrgios are level at 2-2 on head-to-head
Nick Kyrgios. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Two of the biggest servers in the sport go head-to-head on Friday as Nick Kyrgios takes on giant American, John Isner in the semi-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco. 

It's been a resurgent week for Kyrgios, who has beaten multiple Grand Slam champions, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka to advance to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since last June. That semi-final at Queen's took the Australian back into the top 20, but he has taken quite the tumble since then, ending last year at No. 35, and dropping out of the top 70 after a poor start to 2019.

Kyrgios had quite a bit to defend at the start of the year, having won Brisbane and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open last season, but he did a poor of defending those points, losing to Jeremy Chardy in the second round in Brisbane, before crashing to a first round loss to Milos Raonic in Melbourne- admittedly a tough draw. The 23-year-old then fell to Radu Albot in the second round at Delray Beach, slipping to a 2-3 win-loss record for the season, and apparently heading nowhere, but he has bolted back into reckoning in Acapulco, beating Andreas Seppi, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka to advance to his second Acapulco semi-final. 

Kyrgios has had his commitment questioned a lot of times through his young career, even by the player himself, but this Acapulco run has been a commendable display of skill and heart, mixed with the usual Kyrgios shenanigans, with the Australian battling several physical problems and an extremely tough draw to reach the last four. He had been struggling with a knee injury at the start of the tournament, and considered pulling out before his second-round meeting with Nadal due to food poisoning, but he went ahead to play, and recorded a tremendous three-hour victory over the Spaniard after saving three match points in the final set tie break.

Considering the problems he encountered before and during his match against Nadal, and the length of the match itself, it was almost improbable to expect him to reach a similar level on a second consecutive night, but that was exactly what he did, stunning Stan Wawrinka 7-5 6-7 6-4 to reach the last four. Kyrgios fell heavily in the opening stages of the match, needing medical attention on a sizable gash on his hand, and was cramping towards the end of the match, but he dug deep and found a way to win, pulling through after 2 hours and 31 minutes.

The question that was asked before his match against Wawrinka resurfaces again as he prepares for his semi-final against John Isner: Does he have enough left in the tank to produce another performance after spending five and a half hours on court to get past Nadal and Wawrinka?

“I’m extremely tired,” admitted Kyrgios. “I showed great resilience to come out and beat a player like Stan in some tough conditions. I knew I was going to be the underdog and the crowd was going to be in [his] favour, but I served great today...the way I've competed the last two days is massive. I've left it all out there."  
"Before this tournament, I wasn't playing very good. I was struggling with injuries. To have two good wins, I feel like the year is going back on track for me."

The good news is he will not exactly have to do too much running against Isner, as the points will most likely be short and sharp, with the serve likely to dominate on Friday night.

John Isner. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Isner isn't exactly fresh as a daisy, as he is also coming off a grueling three-hour semi-final against John Millman, and didn't complete the 7-6 6-7 7-6 victory until just after 2:30am on Friday morning.

The American was typically heavily reliant on his serve, sending down 38 aces, winning 81% of points behind his first serve and 64% on his second. Isner had not won a match in his four previous visits to Acapulco, but he has strung together three victories this week, beating Adrian Mannarino, Sam Querrey and Millman to reach his third successive ATP World Tour semi-final.

The American, who enjoyed a career best 2018, winning his maiden Masters 1000 title in Miami and achieving his best Grand Slam result with his semi-final run at Wimbledon, had made a slow start to the year, losing his opening matches in Auckland and the Australian Open, but he has got his season back on track with three straight semi-finals- in New York, Delray Beach and now Acapulco.

Can he go one better, and advance to his first final of the year, and a first since he won Atlanta last July?

Isner has split his four previous meetings with Kyrgios, with the American winning the first two matches in Madrid and Montreal in 2015, and Kyrgios responding with victories in Atlanta in 2016, and a Davis Cup tie in 2017. Unsurprisingly, there have been quite a few tie breaks between them, with four of their last five sets going to breakers.

“We’ve played a handful of times, I’ve seen his matches this week,” said Isner. “I’ve won a couple, he’s won a couple. He’s an incredible talent, everyone knows that. So it will be a fun match.”

While it's not as simple as "whoever serves better wins", it's not too far from that, as these are arguably two of the best servers on tour at the moment. Neither man is particular strong on the return of serve, which means this may drift into a few tie breaks, and will be decided on a few big points.

Nick Kyrgios vs John Isner is live from Acapulco on Friday, 1 March from 10:00pm local time/ 4:00am GMT (Saturday morning)

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Kyrgios vs Isner ATP Acapulco Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Big-serving duo, Kyrgios and Isner battle for a spot in the Acapulco final

Nick Kyrgios and John Isner meet in a big-serving duel in the Acapulco semi-finals on Friday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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