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REDEMPTION:One year after a petulant meltdown in Shanghai against the same opponent, Nick Kyrgios beat Mischa Zverev and demonstrated his personal progress

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, BEIJING

The enigmatic Australian, seeded eighth in the Chinese capital, smashed his racket on the floor in anger, bending the head in half, when he conceded the opening set yesterday.

That earned the world No. 19 a warning from the umpire and raised the specter of one year ago.

However, the 22-year-old returned for the second set with renewed determination and errors began creeping into Zverev’s game.

Zverev, ranked No. 27 in the world and the older brother of rising star Alexander, surrendered his first service game of the second set and Kyrgios was never in trouble after that, surging into the quarter-finals 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Kyrgios said facing Zverev a year after Shanghai, and again in China, was the perfect opportunity to show how far he has come.

“I just wanted to go out there today and kind of redeem myself a little bit from last year,” he said. “I just wanted to prove to myself how much I have improved.”

During one changeover, the Australian appeared so relaxed that he sat back on his chair, arms behind his head, and sang along with a pop hit being played over the stadium loudspeakers.

“Nothing really, just chilling out,” Kyrgios said afterward, when asked about his behavior.

He is next to play Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis in the last eight.

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