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Men's Singles, 4th Round
Grigor Dimitrov vs Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios will look to record his second victory in three weeks over world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7pm (AEDT).
The Aussie has had a dramatic turnaround at the start of 2018, overcoming numerous situations and playing a high quality of tennis firstly in Brisbane and then at the Australian Open.
Starting his year with a maiden title on home soil, the Aussie beat some quality players including Dimitrov on his way to the crown.
The match against Dimitrov take the first set reasonably comfortably before Kyrgios came back, serving with real fire on his way to victory.
His serve right throughout the summer has been a major weapon, but in Melbourne, he has shown an all-court game, bailing himself out of tricky situations left, right and centre with an arsenal of shots on both the forehand and backhand side, painting lines regularly.
The first two rounds of the slam for Kyrgios were reasonably comfortable, but the battle against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last time out confirmed the Aussie appears to have turned a corner in what was his first ever win on Rod Laver Arena.
Kyrgios won three tie breaker sets, eventually beating Tsonga in four after he dropped the second. The loss in the second normally would have sent Kyrgios on a downward spiral, but not this time. He looks like a completely different player on court and will be hard to stop if he can keep that up.
Dimitrov has been anything but at top form this season. He had a shaky run through the Brisbane International, needing three sets to get past both John Millman and Kyle Edmund before falling to Kyrgios.
The 26-year-old Bulgarian can take some heart out of the fact he has beaten Kyrgios in their other two meetings to date, but he won’t be enjoying the way he has been hitting the ball in Melbourne.
While he beat qualifier Dennis Novak on the first day of the tournament, he has since struggled. He took five sets to get past another qualifier in Mackenzie McDonald, dropping the fourth set 6-0 before winning the fifth 8-6.
Andrey Rublev was a tough opposition in the third round, but he came away with a four-set win, again struggling to play with any consistency.
If Dimitrov starts slowly tonight as he has done throughout 2018, Kyrgios could get momentum he won’t let up. Yet, if Dimitrov starts well and Kyrgios keeps his head in the game, this could be the match of the tournament.
The winner will take on either Kyle Edmund or Andreas Seppi in the quarter-final.
Kyrgios has been in stunning form and at the top of his game doesn’t look like being beaten. Of course, it always feels like an implosion could be moments away, but with each passing match, that notion disappears further into the rear-view mirror.
Unless Dimitrov plays his best match of the year so far, the world No.3 will be sent packing.
Kyrgios in five sets.
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