Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Dimitrov wins quality encounter against Kyrgios

Dimitrov wins quality encounter against Kyrgios

And the Australian bounced back to win the third but another tie-break settled the match, Dimitrov finishing in style with a stylish forehand passing shot to seal a 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory.

Dimitrov has never won a major, coming closest here a year ago before losing a semifinal to Rafael Nadal in five sets, but is enhancing his credentials as a next generation champion.

The 16-time major victor draped an arm around his Argentine friend and patted him on top of the head.

Rafael Nadal faces a stiff challenge later on Margaret Court Arena when he takes on 25th ranked Damir Dzumhur, the first seed he has played in his comeback from a knee problem.

"I mean, can't argue with that", Kyrgios said with a smile. Hopefully next match I can do better still'. "I'm hitting the ball really nicely, taking chances, playing aggressive, taking the ball as early as I can".

The Bulgarian, seeded third at Melbourne Park, prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in a gripping encounter played in front of a partisan crowd on Rod Laver Arena.

"I had the 300th win of my career at the U.S. Open in 2014, so this is also lovely one", Cilic said of his latest major milestone. I know how tough she is. A year ago I really didn't know what I was going to do after the Australian Open.

Despite not playing any competitive matches in his Aussie Open preparation, Nadal advanced through three rounds without dropping a set.

Indeed, the Bulgarian had nine break points all match and Kyrgios only five and he won 81 per cent of first serve points and the Australian 79 per cent.

At 2-2, the Australian produced some remarkable tennis, at one point laughing incredulously at his own performance, before Dimitrov produced several clutch serves to hold in return.

He broke again in the next game to regain control.

The Estonian had been bubbling with confidence after despatching French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, but nerves got the better of her. "Moments under pressure", Nadal said.

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Briton Kyle Edmund reached his first grand slam quarter-finals with a 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-2 6-3 win over Italian Andreas Seppi.

And even when he trailed 5-3 after missing a simple overhead, Kyrgios fought on, breaking Dimitrov when he was serving for the match to stay alive.

Kyrgios double-faulted to lose the opening set tiebreaker and was broken in the seventh game of the second set leaving the moody Australian to shake his head cussing at the changeover and uttering "embarrassing".

Strong serving was the main feature of the first set.

"Only a couple points in it, you know".

He went down fighting against Dimitrov and generally exhibited a much improved attitude throughout the month Down Under.

"I'm just glad to get through that match".

"Playing against Nick is always tricky, two weeks I lost against him", Dimitrov said.

Wozniacki is now set to clash with Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-finals after she beat Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

The other quarterfinal will feature the winners of two tune-up events.

"Everybody suffers in a four-hour match", he said.

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