Rafael Nadal, currently the No.1 tennis player in the world, continued his road to 20th Grand Slam title at this year’s Australian Open. Nadal managed to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament on Monday, defeating Australian Nick Kyrgios in a highly entertaining four-set match.
Nadal opened the match strong, breaking Kyrgios service early and winning 17 out of 19 points on his first serve to finish the first set in 36 minutes with 6-3 result. Kyrgios quickly bounced back, holding off Nadal from breaking again in the first game, which lasted impressive 10 minutes. The 24-year-old crowd favorite ten quickly got to 4-1 lead and managed to claim the second set.
The third set offered quality tennis, with both tennis players trying to get the upper hand in the match. Eventually, the set ended in a tiebreak, with Nadal managing to get the better of Kyrgios.
Kyrgios pushed Nadal in the fourth set, which also went to a tiebreak, but eventually couldn’t get overcome the Spaniard’s explosiveness and relentlessness.
“Against Nick you are never in control,” said Nadal after the match. “If you have mistakes, then he has the break, and it’s so difficult to break him again. When he is playing like today, with a positive attitude, he gives a lot of positive things to our sport. He’s one of the highest talents that we have on our tour, and I like this Nick Kyrgios.”
Rafael Nadal will now meet Austrian Dominic Thiem, No.5 tennis player in the world, in quarterfinals. Thiem previously defeated Gael Monfils in the fourth round without losing a set.