Federer next after Kyrgios defeats Djokovic - again

Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, on his way to beating Novak Djokovic.
Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, on his way to beating Novak Djokovic. Mark J. Terrill

IN what could turn out to be a career-defining fortnight, Nick Kyrgios has produced another stunning performance to oust Novak Djokovic for the second straight tournament.

A week after upsetting the world No.2 in straight sets at Acapulco, 21-year-old Australian Kyrgios backed it up with a stellar 6-4 7-6 (7-3) triumph in the Indian Wells Masters fourth round on Thursday (AEST).

The victory, built on another brilliant display of serving (14 aces, 86 per cent of first serve points won) sets up a last eight showdown with another legend of the game.

Kyrgios will face his idol Roger Federer next in what's been dubbed "the toughest draw in history".

Australian Open champion Federer was at his brilliant best in a 6-2 6-3 win over Rafael Nadal on Thursday.

Kyrgios improves his career record against top ten players to 12-17 and joins an exclusive club in beating 12-time grand slam winner Djokovic - one of the most consistent players in this history of the sport - back-to-back.

"It feels good. I knew what I had to do today. It was always going to be tough; he is a great champion," Kyrgios said.

"I'm just in a good place mentally."

Kyrgios is now 2-0 against one of the best players to pick up a racquet. Incredibly, he hasn't even faced a break point in two matches against the world's best returner.

Djokovic was clearly frustrated by his inability to make inroads on the Australians serve, smashing his racquet and ranting to his supporters' box on several occasions.

The Australian is the first player in five years to defeat Djokovic in back-to-back tournaments.

The last time came in 2012 when Rafael Nadal beat Djokovic on clay in the final of Rome and the French Open.

*Kyrgios is also just the third player to beat Djokovic in straight sets in back-to-back tournaments since the Serbian great turned professional in 2003.

The only others to achieve that feat are Roger Federer in 2009 (Cincinnati and US Open) and Andy Murray in 2008 (Cincinnati and Toronto).

*Kyrgios is the first player in eight years - and the third ever - to defeat Djokovic in back-to-back hardcourt tournaments.

*The only other players to have defeated Djokovic in consecutive hardcourt tournaments are Federer in 2009 (Cincinnati and US Open) and Murray in 2008 (Cincinnati and Toronto).

*This is only the 10th time Djokovic has lost back-to-back-tournaments to the same opponent in his 921 match career.

*Kyrgios is the seventh player to beat him back-to-back since turning pro. The others are Nadal (three times), Federer (twice), Murray (once) Tommy Haas (once), Fernando Verdasco (once), Mikhail Youzhny (once).

*Nadal is the only player to have knocked Djokovic out of three straight tournaments (2008).

Topics:  atp tour indian wells nick kyrgios novak djokovic

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