On a fantastic Sunday night in Melbourne, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray won their fourth round matches to set up a tantalising quarter-final that will see Kyrgios play his first match of the tournament on Rod Laver Arena. Kyrgios came back from two sets down and saved a match point to defeat Andreas Seppi, 5-7 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) 8-6 in three hours and 34 minutes. It was a match that produced a collection of gems – on the tennis front, Kyrgios’s forehand down-the-line to go up a break of serve in the decider was terrific. On the non-tennis front, Kyrgios shouting at departing crowd members, “where are you going” and then to one gentleman in the crowd, “get off your f****** phone mate” was amusing. Seppi smirking after hitting a winner and getting what almost sounded like boos was good too. The dramatic match ended as only it could with a challenge on match point.
Kyrgios’s level fluctated wildly between the five sets, but his poor attitude remained stable throughout the match. At only 19, although it’s not great to see, I hope it’s something that will improve over time. In the fourth set tiebreak, Seppi became passive and Kyrgios took advantage. After charging into a 4-1 final set lead, Seppi came back and started to go for his shots a little more. It looked like the momentum might be slipping for Kyrgios, but he did a pretty good job at wrestling it back and finishing off the match. This is Kyrgios’s second Grand Slam quarter-final and he sent Hisense Arena into complete hysteria with this victory.
Andy Murray had an equally eventful evening, defeating Grigor Dimitrov in a high quality four setter. There were plenty of ups and downs during the match; Dimitrov started superbly, but lost the first set. Murray twice went up a break in the second set and even served for it, but Dimitrov won it on the tiebreak. The fourth set will not be a happy memory for Dimitrov as he was unable to take advantage of a 5-2* lead and even a set point. His racquet smash was IMMENSE.
Murray and Kyrgios will play each other for the second time on tour after Murray won in Toronto last year, 6-2 6-2. I think there will be a great respect between the pair and obviously, a buzzing atmosphere. Kyrgios seems to thrive in these kind of atmospheres, but against someone of Murray’s quality, I think this will be a huge step up from his four previous matches this fortnight. I also think all these matches will catch up with him after coming into the tournament with an injury concern. I’ve got a feeling that this could be somewhat of a damp squib… I really hope I am wrong.
Prediction: Murray d. Kyrgios in 3 sets