Rival camp explodes at Kyrgios

 

QUARTERFINAL spots at Melbourne Park were snapped up by Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki and Kyle Edmund on Sunday, while Grigor Dimitrov got the better of Nick Kyrgios.

LOCAL hope Nick Kyrgios met Grigor Dimitrov for the second time this year and the Bulgarian got revenge on the Aussie star, who had defeated him in the Brisbane International semi-finals two weeks ago.

The pair played out an entertaining clash and while both had the crowd in awe, the No. 3 seed came out with the win. Dimitrov was better in the clutch moments, defeating Kyrgios 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal toppled Diego Schwartman in another fourth-round match.

In women's fourth-round matches, second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated Magdalena Rybarikova and Elise Mertens needed two hours to take care of Petra Martic in straight sets.

ROD LAVER ARENA

11am

Carla Suarez Navarro (SPA) defeated (32) Anett Kontaveit (EST) 4-6 6-4 8-6

(2) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) defeated (19) Magdalena Rybarikova (SLO) 6-3 6-0

(1) Rafael Nadal (SPA) defeated (24) Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-3

7pm

(3) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated (17) Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6

Denisa Allertova (CZE) vs (4) Elina Svitolina (UKR)

MARGARET COURT ARENA

12.30pm

(6) Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated (10) Pablo Carreno Busta (SPA) 6-7 6-3 7-6 7-6

Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 7-5

HISENSE ARENA

3pm

Lleyton Hewitt-Sam Groth (AUS) defeated Pablo Andujar-Albert Ramos-Vinolas (SPA) via retirement

Kyle Edmund (GB) defeated Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-7 7-5 6-2 6-3

 

 

11.35pm

Dimitrov camp rages before win

Some thought Nick Kyrgios's last match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the match of the tournament. They spoke too soon.

Grigor Dimitrov overcame Kyrgios 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 in the pair's fourth round clash, which was filled with spectacular tennis from both players.

The Aussie was good but his Bulgarian opponent was better. In an ironic twist, Kyrgios got the better of Tsonga in three tiebreaks on Friday night but on Sunday that figure was reversed as Dimitrov stepped up in clutch moments to claim three breakers.

After narrowly giving up the first two sets, Kyrgios went into beast mode in the third. He was winding up and hitting almost everything as hard as he could. The aggression paid off and he kept himself in the match by taking the set 6-4 .

The Aussie continued his hard hitting approach in the fourth, stepping inside the baseline to take balls early and on the rise - and for the most part it kept working.

Some blistering returns from Dimitrov serves sent the crowd wild and Kyrgios saved two break points with consecutive aces when down 1-2. A couple of deuces ensued and the young gun screamed at his box - as he has a habit of doing - telling his team to stand up in support.

"Get up, get up! What are you doing?" he yelled out before some more clutch serving saw the set progress to 2-2.

An incredible running forehand to give himself a break point in the next game was so good Kyrgios couldn't help but smile at what he'd pulled off. The scintillating level of tennis kept getting better.

Kyrgios drilled ball into the stands when down 1-2 but received no warning from the umpire, and Dimitrov's coach Dani Vallverdu screamed at one of the tournament supervisors who was seated just below the Bulgarian's box when his pupil went up 3-2.

"He is saying that isn't right. He is correct, it isn't right," Jim Courier said in commentary.

Kyrgios yelled at his team to get up again then butchered an easy smash, clattering it into the net and Dimitrov was serving for the match at 5-3.

"Get up, Jesus," Kyrgios said to his entourage during the game. "Just absolutely f*** off."

But the hometown hero rebounded, needing just one of his two break points to hit back with a clean backhand winner down the line. He held to love next game and it was 5-5 before we saw our fourth tiebreak of the match.

Dimitrov played with ice in his veins from there on, delivering a stunning cross-court forehand winner to claim the tiebreak 7-4 and, with it, the match.

10.35pm

Hewitt raises conspiracy in Kyrgios nightmare

Kyrgios was called for his second foot fault of the night early in the third set. Once again his back foot was deemed to go past the centre marker on the baseline on another second serve.

"I haven't been called for a foot fault in three years," Kyrgios complained to the umpire. "It's not possible man, it's not possible."

American great Jim Courier - who agreed with the first call in the second set but was less certain about the second - said in commentary for Channel Seven he'd seen Kyrgios do the same thing throughout the tournament without being called.

"No-one has called him on it. No-one mentioned it. Here he is facing a challenge that hasn't been put to him before. Here's something new for him to deal with," Courier said.

Lleyton Hewitt wondered if the linesmen and women had been given special instructions to watch out for this aspect of Kyrgios's game on Sunday night.

"I wonder whether the linesmen have been told to look out for that tonight," Hewitt said.

Roger Rasheed said it was a "strange" rule that he was surprised even existed.

Kyrgios had another exchange with the umpire at the change of ends but maintained enough composure to hold then break for a 3-2 lead, which he consolidated into a 4-2 advantage.

Kyrgios was attacking everything with full blooded aggression, hitting as hard as he possibly could, much to the crowd's approval.

He even managed a couple of smiles before an ace sealed the third set 6-4.

10pm

Team Dimitrov wants to 'tip Nick over the edge'?

Just like the opening set, the second went to a tiebreak. After saving a set point Kyrgios squared the ledger at 5-5 before both players held serve to make it 6-6.

Kyrgios chunked a backhand into the net to give Dimitrov a 4-2 lead and the Aussie screamed "God knows" at himself as he went to his seat to prepare for the change of ends.

He won the next two points but then Dimitrov bounced back to win the next three and claim the breaker 7-4.

Fans were in awe of the spectacle being put on by two players at the top of their game.

The two stars breezed through their opening service games before Kyrgios gave Dimitrov a scare in the fourth game. The Bulgarian was down 0-30 but some clutch rallying saw him take a 40-30 lead before the Aussie brought it back to deuce.

After a couple more deuces the World No. 3 sent down a second serve ace to make it 2-2.

Commentators speculated Dimitrov's coach Daniel Vallverdu was signalling to the umpire, suggesting he was unhappy about the level of communication between Kyrgios and his team.

"You are 100 per cent right that was a conversation going to the umpire. Saying there was a lot of conversation going between Nick and his box. You have to quieten it down," Jim Courier said. "He can talk to his box as long as he likes, to be honest.

"I disagree with him on this. I would love for the box to continue to talk to Nick (if I was Dimitrov's coach)."

"I think Dani may have been asking, though, if Nick got a code violation for coaching something like that may set Nick off," Lleyton Hewitt added. "That may be in the back of his mind something like that could tip Nick over the edge which could give his player a slight advantage."

Dimitrov was maintaining his level in a high quality encounter, breaking Kyrgios to take a 4-3 lead then held to make it 5-3.Kyrgios was called for a foot fault on a second serve next game, his back foot starting past the centre marker on the baseline.

"I've never foot faulted in my life," a confused Kyrgios complained.

"That is 100 per cent a foot fault," Courier said.

The 22-year-old lost his temper at the umpire when queried if he was going to challenge a ball called long from his racquet at 30-30 with Dimitrov up 5-4. "Obviously I'm going to challenge, champ," he said.

9pm

Kyrgios fumes after losing first set

Grigor Dimitrov took a tense opening set in a tiebreak in 52 minutes as Nick Kyrgios lost his cool at his own team.

Sitting down on his seat preparing for the second set, he yelled out at his team. "It's retarded, absolutely retarded," he complained.

That came after an explosion late in the set, also directed at his box.

Down 5-4, Kyrgios shook his head as he complained to his box about not knowing the difference in string tension between his racquets. "Which one's a 54 and which one's a 55?" he said.

"Well done. You had all day to figure it out.

"One thing with the racquets, that's it. That's all you had to do."

Dimitrov sent down two double faults in an opening game that took him five minutes to hold - an ominous sign afters struggling with his serve all tournament.

By contrast, Kyrgios made short work of his opening service game, conceding just one point as he levelled the set up at 1-1.

Kyrgios kept up his booming serves and was ripping his forehand during rallies while Dimitrov started to find his groove in his own service games as he went up 3-2.

At 30-15, Dimitrov hid a monster backhand return to the corner to give himself two break points. "My goodness, c'mon," Jim Courier said in commentary.

Kyrgios dug himself out of trouble to send it to deuce then saved another break point before closing the game out.

Kyrgios was taking a risk by going big even on his second serve. One was over 190km/h - comfortably faster than Dimitrov's first serve. "That was 191km/h. My goodness," Courier said.

In the eighth game he sent down a 202km/h bomb on a second serve. "Wow," commentator Todd Woodbridge gasped.

Kyrgios's aggression paid off as he had no trouble holding his service games, but it wasn't enough to win the tiebreak.

7.35pm

Kyrgios's selfless move

All class from both men.
All class from both men.

Nick Kyrgios complained during his third round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday night that his decision to play doubles in scorching conditions the day before was "dumb". He said afterwards his legs felt heavy and he would decide later whether or not to continue in the doubles draw.

It was reported partner Matt Reid made the decision for Kyrgios, telling his good mate they should pull out for the good of his singles campaign.

Reid confirmed that on Saturday night and also revealed after his win against Tsonga, Kyrgios told his countryman he was still willing to partner him despite the physical strain it placed on him. However, Reid put his foot down and waved the selfless gesture away.

"The night he won Nick and I had a talk and he said he's happy to play and then as we slept on it I kind of thought about it a bit. I thought it was the right call and for Nick's singles career and his chance at the Australian Open in general and I thought it was the right one to pull out and give him the go at having a good run here," Reid told Channel Seven on Sunday night

7.30pm

Edmund reaches career peak

Great Britain's Kyle Edmund is into the first grand slam quarter-final of his career after defeating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-7 7-5 6-2 6-3.

Excluding Andy Murray, Edmund is the first British male to reach the quarters of the Australian Open since John Lloyd in 1985.

Edmund's big serving was key in the two-hour and 57 minute battle as he sent down 25 aces

7.20pm

Nadal outlasts Schwartzman

He saved two match points but Diego Schwartzman found out first hand what makes Rafael Nadal so special.

The pair's three-hour and 51 minute four-setter was the longest match played on Rod Laver Arena this tournament but despite showing a tenacity that will see him leave Melbourne with far more fans than when he arrived, Schwartzman was outlasted and out-muscled by his Spanish opponent.

Nadal won 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-3, doing it tough against the plucky Argentine who made the World No. 1 work for every point.

"He's a great player in all aspects and I feel he was serving well all afternoon," Nadal said afterwards. "A great battle ... he played so well and I wish him all the best for the rest (of the season)."

After Nadal won a marathon 13-minute game to make it 1-1 in the final set, Schwartzman went down a break and his mood only soured further when the umpire whacked him with a code violation for an audible obscenity.

Schwartzman was furious, saying few in the crowd would have understood him because he swore in Spanish.

"I didn't say nothing," he said. "We do a mistake - it's always the same.

"After three hours and 15 minutes and it's a warning then I need to pay (a fine).

"It's always the same thing, c'mon.

"Nothing happens when you (the umpire) do a mistake, nothing happens. C'mon.

"Nobody knows what I said. Nobody knows."

6.40pm

Mertens advances, Edmund running hot

Elise Mertens has advanced to her first ever grand slam quarter-final by defeating Croatia's Petra Martic 7-6 7-5 in a match that lasted one minute shy of two hours.

The Belgian has gone from strength the strength in Melbourne, launching a miracle comeback against local hope Daria Gavrilova in the second round then outlasting Alize Cornet in extreme heat on Friday.

Kyle Edmund won the third set against Andreas Seppi to go two sets to one up in their fourth round clash.

Fresh from an epic five-setter against Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday - which Andy Murray described on Twitter as the best win of his career - Edmund is running hot against his Italian opponent.

6.15pm

Nadal bounces back

After a misfiring second set Rafael Nadal took the ascendancy by winning the third 6-3 against Diego Schwartzman.

He sealed the set with his fifth ace of the match and gave a fist pump as he headed back to his chair.

Schwartzman has played at an incredible level to push Nadal as far as he has, but slipped just enough in the third as he looked to be running on less gas as the first three sets kept the players on court for almost three hours.

On Hisense Arena, Great Britain's Kyle Edmund made it one set all against Andreas Seppi when he bounced back from his first set loss in a tiebreak to claim the second 7-5.

5.35pm

Nadal loses his cool

An incredible second set went to a tiebreak after Diego Schwartzman broke Rafael Nadal three times.

The diminutive Argentinian then landed a killer blow by keeping his nerve and winning the breaker 7-4 to level the match up at one set apiece. It was the first set Nadal's lost all tournament.

At 5-5 Schwartzman was bombing backhands but a stray forehand that went long cost him the chance to go ahead. Then, with Nadal serving for the match at 6-5, he broke back to make it 6-6 before his fightback went up a notch with his victorious tiebreak.

At 3-4 down in the tiebreak, Nadal - who was sweating so much he had to change his shorts earlier in the match - let his temper get the better of him because it took too long for the ballkids to get his towel to him so he could wipe his face. He gestured angrily towards his box about the time it was taking to get a towel.

"Nadal is wondering where his towels are. Where are the ball kids there to get the towels for them? Spare a thought for those boys, they have been trying to do everything right by these players," Jim Courier said in commentary.

The Spaniard has been off today. He's hit twice as many unforced errors as winners, and only half as many winners as Schwartzman.

The opening two sets took more than two hours to complete.



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