A 6-1, 6-4 win over Steve Johnson in Dubai on Wednesday set up a final against Viktor Troicki, capping a great comeback for Kyrgios.
The Australian said: ‘I’ve been through a lot in a short space of time, and I’ve been the luckiest guy on the planet to keep coming back and I’m just so grateful to have had the opportunity to do it again.
‘It would have been hard to keep putting in those kind of efforts if I didn’t believe that I was going to succeed and I definitely have been proving to myself and others I’m not just stringing a few good results together to give my percentages up.’
Nick Kyrgios regained confidence and confidence. He just wanted to have another match… #ARACurf | @NickKyrgios
👉 https://t.co/l08x9Awe4O pic.twitter.com/M69GqEQ4CX — Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) November 29, 2017
Kyrgios insisted he still had ‘a hell of a lot of things to prove’, before the Australian will face Troicki, who routed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4.
Troicki, 29, had an awful year last year that included a three-month ban and an admission that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs before making a huge comeback this year.
And despite not being able to beat the Russian, he enjoyed his success.
Steve Johnson thought he was playing Grigor Dimitrov at one point… pic.twitter.com/LFn5WVzKg6 — Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) November 29, 2017
‘When I look at the calendar and see that my sixth tournament is playing a final, then it makes me happy and gives me a lot of motivation, but there’s so much going on around it,’ he said.
‘It’s just being able to have an unbelievable week with the knowledge I’ve been preparing my entire career to have the opportunity to play finals and hopefully win one of these things.’
A bonus for Kyrgios was, as he said, ‘the opportunity to play Grigor Dimitrov at one point’, presumably referring to the Turkish Airlines Open, with no difficulty in beating Steve Johnson 6-1, 6-4.
That brings with it the prospect of putting his head above water after blowing so many matches in 2017.
“When I look at the calendar and see that my sixth tournament is playing a final, then it makes me happy,” said Kyrgios after beating Steve Johnson 6-1, 6-4 and reaching the final of the ARCA Futures Dubai.#ARACurf | @NickKyrgios pic.twitter.com/VQxA1ENORk — Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) November 29, 2017
As he entered the match, he was 17-17 and won just one of eight matches in the second round of the event in Shanghai last week. He was promptly defeated in straight sets by world No 67 Andrey Rublev.
But when Johnson made his appearance on court on Wednesday, it was a brave decision by the tournament organisers. At 19, Johnson had defeated three former champions and top 30 players to reach the semi-finals.
He looked dangerous in their opening service game, but then Kyrgios hit back with three forehand winners and a winner from the back of the court.
When Johnson won his first game he was 2-0 up in the first set, but Kyrgios won five of the next six games and won the set 6-1.
Johnson started the second set well, but then he felt sick. He vomited twice in the first game, getting some help from the coaching team and then struggling to regain his composure,
Kyrgios lost his serve in the opening game but won the next two games to lead 5-1. At 30-0, Johnson at last managed to win a point on Kyrgios’ serve.
But Kyrgios rallied to win the next four games and led 6-4 in the third set before sealing victory with a thunderous forehand to the backhand side.