'You never know what's going to happen': Dimitrov on Kyrgios

Aubrey Yates
January 21, 2018

Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov battled past local favourite Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (3) 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (4) in three hours and 26 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals. But fair play to the lad, he produces two great serves.

"He deserves a lot of credit, he fought really hard".

'I just told him to believe in himself and hopefully he can go all the way, ' he said in his post-match press conference.

Edmund also fired down 25 aces to tame the neat Italian but it was the thumping winners, particularly off his forehand, that proved decisive after he had reduced the error count that marred his display in the first set. It's one of those matches that you have to be locked in and try to get any opportunity you have. Dimitrov went 3/1 ahead, but Kyrgios rallied to level at 4/4 before Dimitrov raised his game once more at the vital moment to take a firm hold of the match with a two-set lead.

Kyrgios' serve was the first to come under real pressure in game six as he saved three break points - two with forehand winners either side of an ace. Today I'm happy I switched on a gear and was playing better and better. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 livesports extra and online.

The Bulgarian was agonisingly close to beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals here 12 months ago and finished off last season by winning his biggest title at the ATP Finals.

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It was Kyrgios who buckled, netting a forehand with the court wide open at 3-3, and Dimitrov suffered no repeat of his earlier wobble as he clinched victory with a brilliant forehand victor.

Dimitrov says he lost his grasp on that match.

American tennis legend John McEnroe heaped praise on Kyrgios, calling him "the best talent" he has seen in over a decade.

After clawing his way back into contention, Kyrgios appeared to have given the match away when he inexplicably netted a smash to fall 5-3 behind.

Kyrgios twice had 0/30 on the Dimitrov serve in the second set but it was the O2 champion who broke first and then had the chance to serve it out.

Edmund duly delivered with 23 unforced errors as Seppi, a decade older and a veteran of three previous trips to the fourth round of the Australian Open, held serve easily and mustered up five break points.

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