The most notable match of day 7 rightly gets star billing in the night session on Rod Laver Arena with Grigor Dimitrov taking on home player Nick Kyrgios. On paper, it looks to be a thrilling match especially with Kyrgios being backed by a vocal home crowd. With Andreas Seppi or Kyle Edmund in the quarter finals, it feels like the winner would already be looking to a likely semi final with Rafael Nadal too.
A wild four setter with Andrey Rublev in the previous round proved to be slightly less stressful for Dimitrov although it looked like he would be in dogfight after falling down a break in the third having previously led by a set and a break. Much of his troubles came from instability on serve although his 15 double faults were only 2 more than were hit by the Russian on the other side. “It was just not a good day for me serving-wise. I tried to change the way I was tossing the ball or serving throughout the whole match, but just didn’t work. Just didn’t work. I have to accept it and move on. 15, 16 double-faults, that’s absolutely unacceptable. So, yeah, hopefully I serve better next round.” he said on his serving troubles.
That amount will leave him in big trouble against Kyrgios with the Australian proving to be very strong on serve so far. He hit 28 aces and won 79% of first serve points against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga but more impressively was his nerve in winning each of the three tiebreaks they played overall, especially coming from 5-2 down in the fourth set. “He’s a tough opponent. He’s beaten pretty much all the top guys in the world. I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough match. I was very nervous going out there today. Yeah, I mean, obviously 5-2 down in the fourth set breaker, I was kind of getting ready for a fifth set mentally. I somehow just hung in and got a couple looks.” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios will go into the match confident he can beat the Bulgarian once more. They have met once already this year with Kyrgios coming back to win in three sets on his way to the Brisbane title. Kyrgios could finally be ready to take it to the next level and a win over last year’s semi finalist would go someway to achieving that.
Prediction – Nick Kyrgios in 4 sets