Grigor Dimitrov has safely moved into the quarter-finals after an impressive 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4) win over the dangerous Nick Kyrgios. The Bulgarian has now reached the last 8 at the Australian Open for the third time in his young career.
Having won their most recent encounter just weeks prior, Kyrgios was the slight favourite heading into this clash with the World No. 3. Both players looked to be in good form leading into the match and they did not disappoint, putting on an exceptional display of tennis.
Strong serving was the main feature of the first set. Kyrgios and Dimitrov were firing down massive serves and backing them up with brilliant point play. With neither player budging on serve, the first set went to a tiebreak. Dimitrov was too strong for the young Australian in the breaker. The 26-year-old looked to get to net as much as possible putting huge pressure on Kyrgios. This tactic paid off as the Bulgarian captured the first set 7-6(3).
The second set was much the same, with neither player giving their serve up easily. However, a wayward game from Kyrgios handed Dimitrov the break and the chance to serve for the second set. Kyrgios stayed strong and showed his full array of shot making skills, breaking back immediately. Another tiebreak soon followed. Again, Dimitrov was the aggressor and it paid off for the Bulgarian winning the tight second set 7-6(4).
Kyrgios had a huge task ahead of himself as Dimitrov had never lost from a 2 sets to 0 lead. But the Australian stuck around and some uncharacteristic errors off Dimitrov’s racket gave Kyrgios a break midway through the third set. Kyrgios continued his big serving and held on the capture the set 6-4, keeping his Australian Open hopes alive.
Dimitrov was still in control of this match and put the pressure on the 22-year-old early. Everything was going the Bulgarian’s way as he raced to a 5-3 lead and served for the match. Dimitrov’s serve buckled under pressure and Kyrgios took advantage, taking the set to yet another tiebreak. Once again, Dimitrov proved to be too strong, producing quality shots at all the right times. The Bulgarian captured the fourth set and the match with a 7-4 tiebreak performance.
Dimitrov will now face Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals. Dimitrov has a huge chance to advance to the semi-finals facing a much lower ranked opponent, but expect Edmund to come out firing with a dangerous nothing-to-lose mentality.