Tennis: Kyrgios two wins from defending Marseille title

Kyrgios returns the ball to Slovakia's Norbert Gombos.
Kyrgios returns the ball to Slovakia's Norbert Gombos.PHOTO: AFP

MARSEILLE (AFP) - Nick Kyrgios kept on course to defend his Marseille Open title with a 6-3, 6-3 quarter-final victory over Slovak qualifier Norbert Gombos on Friday (Feb 24).

The 21-year-old Australian fired down 15 aces and lost just six points on serve in a ruthless display that lasted less than an hour.

In Saturday's semi-final he will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who thumped compatriot Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1.

"I thought I served and returned really well today," said Kyrgios. "All that matters is that I'm going out there and playing every point hard.

"I think I'm pretty aggressive on my returns, particularly here where I'm trying to get in the first big hit."

A year ago, Kyrgios beat Marin Cilic in the final.

Tsonga came through a quarter-final between two twice former winners thanks to converting four of seven break points.

The 31-year-old, on a seven-match winning streak, is bidding to win a second tournament in successive weeks after triumphing in Rotterdam last week.