Nick Kyrgios’ bombardment of aces has fired him into the semi-finals at Queen’s but the Australian admitted he does not practise serving.
Kyrgios sent 32 aces down to see off defending champion Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) in the Fever-Tree Championships on Friday, matching his personal best from 24 hours earlier against Kyle Edmund.
He won 80 per cent of points on his first serve, the fastest of which came down at over 140mph, and the shot is his major weapon, particularly on grass.
Not that the 23-year-old pays much attention to it in practise.
He said: “It’s always been like this for me. My serve’s been like this ever since I was a little kid. It was my best shot. I always based my game around it.
“It was one shot where I didn’t really practise much at all. I would hit maybe 10 or 15 serves a day, I used to just throw the ball up and hit it as hard as I could.
“I guess just one day it started winning me easy points. I was like ‘this is better than running’, and that’s it.
“I will never, ever go out on the practise court and hit serves just for the sake of hitting serves.”
Kyrgios is likely to need all of that firepower from the service line again if he is to get past Marin Cilic in the semi-finals.
Cilic, the top seed, is looking in fine fettle as he eased past 2010 champion Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/3) 6-2.
The Croatian was a beaten finalist in this tournament and Wimbledon in 2017 and is again appearing a threat on grass.
He said: “It is always difficult to compare as every single year it’s new form, new atmosphere, new everything but I am feeling great on the grass.
“I have had three great matches, I just hope I am going to keep going and all matches on grass are getting you ready for Wimbledon.”
Novak Djokovic claimed his 800th career win – just the 10th man in the open era to do so – when he beat Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-1 to set up a last-four meeting with Jeremy Chardy, who saw off Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-4.