Two opposites met in the Miami Open last night as Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios went head-to-head for the chance to play Rafael Nadal in the final.
Federer, cool and classy, versus the volatile Kyrgios. Two brilliant sportsman with two contrasting personalities.
It was the experienced Federer who came out on top, beating the Australian 7-6 (11-9), 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-5) in a fascinating match.
It means Federer, 35, has now won 18 times and lost only once in 2017. And who said he was close to retirement?
The Swiss will face a familiar foe in Nadal. Sunday’s meeting will be the 37th in their storied rivalry, with Federer currently holding bragging rights after his victory in the Australian Open final.
Federer will spent his Saturday recovering after a tough battle that lasted three hours and 10 minutes. The 18-time Grand Slam winner enjoyed the chance to be involved in a hard-fought slog.
"It felt very good," Federer said, per BBC Sport. "You don't very often play three breakers in a match.
"Winning breakers is always such a thrill. I tried to really fight for it. I can't always show my fighting skills, it is great winning this way."
Kyrgios, meanwhile, can take heart from an impressive performance. It’s surely only a matter of time before the 21-year-old is a part of the sport’s elite.
Kyrgios faced a pro-Federer crowd and it didn’t appear to help him. The Australian was frequently booed and let out his anger by throwing his racket.
The final straw came in the deciding tie-breaker when, on serve and leading 5-4, an excited member of the crowd shouted mid-rally.
Distracted, Kyrgios produced a wild forehand that handed Federer the point.
The youngster was furious. He turned towards the fan and shouted: “What are you doing?! Shut the f*** up!”
Watch the video below.
Watch: Kyrgios tells fan to shut the f*** up
Despite the obscenity, Federer leapt to Kyrgios’ defence after the match.
“Crowds jump on him pretty quickly, but it makes for a good atmosphere at the end of the day, so it's not all that bad,” Federer said, per Eurosport.
“I think he's good for the game."