Tuesday evening at the Australian Open brought about some surprising results, both in the women’s and men’s draws. On the ATP side, Tomas Berdych snapped a 17-match losing streak to Rafael Nadal with a straight sets victory to advance to the semi-finals. There, he will meet Andy Murray, who cruised past Nick Kyrgios in anticlimactic fashion.
Arguably the most impressive performance of the day was the Czech No. 1, who ended a near-decade long losing-streak to Nadal with an exceptional 6-2, 6-0, 7-6(5) win to reach the final four in Melbourne.
“It just was not my day,” said Nadal. “I didn’t play with the right intensity, with the right rhythm, and the opponent played better than me. You have to play well to win against a player like Tomas. I didn’t play my best today. He played better than me and that’s it. That’s sport.
“Sometimes, almost every time, it is simple: the player who plays better, the player who is able to maintain the better rhythm, the better concentration, play with less mistakes, is the player who has more success. And today this player has been Tomas.”
Berdych’s win sets up an encounter with Andy Murray, whom he leads 6-4 in the head-to-head series. The British No. 1 and former three-time finalist set up the encounter when he defeated rising star nick Kyrgios in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3.
“I’m happy. It’s nice to be in the latter stages of a slam again,” said Murray. “I’m happy with that. Obviously we want to do the best possible, but all you can do is prepare as best you can, which I certainly did over the past few weeks and months, and have given myself an opportunity. Maybe I won’t play well in a couple of days; maybe I play great. I don’t know. But I’ve given myself a good opportunity again, and hopefully I can use it to my advantage.”
As for Kyrgios, he believes this is the start of a great year, and predicts that Andy Murray could possibly win the title in Australia.
“It was a really good experience,” said Kyrgios. “That was my first Aussie Open Grand Slam match playing on Rod Laver, so that was really cool. But he was way too good for me tonight. There are some things I can take from that match and get better at. He was just way too good for me. I said to him at the net, ‘This is your time; go get him.’ I think he’s got a really good chance of winning the whole thing.”