Grigor Dimitrov’s Gutsy Victory Over Nick Kyrgios Shows How Far He Has Come

Grigor Dimitrov Nick Kyrgios

For three and half hours, Grigor Dimitrov produced a battling performance and withstood a brave fight back to see off Australia’s last man standing in the draw, to book his place in the last eight of the Australian Open where he will face Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

The subtlety of the score line can quickly be forgotten, but this was a match that was intense as it was dramatic. Nick Kyrgios, cheered by a vociferous Australian crowd of over 14,000 people, had pinched the third set 6-4, and when he broke Dimitrov who was serving for the match in the fourth set, a sense of optimism engulfed around those watching on Rod Laver Arena. After all the enigmatic 22-year old was their remaining hope of an Australian Singles champion at this year’s event. But Grigor Dimitrov, on the back of a career-best season, and oozing confidence, secured three tiebreaks to win in four sets and settle a thrilling match.

Victory Over Nick Kyrgios Shows How Far Grigor Dmitrov Has Come

The bona fide Bulgarian currently the world no.3 displayed an array of shots, and so often utilized his inside-in forehand to perfection leaving Nick Kyrgios sprawling and at times irate.

All four sets were competitive, and while Kyrgios lost his cool during the match incredibly due to his racket strings and yelling at his team as to why they failed to fix it, contained himself and he certainly played like a man better than what his current ranking suggests. There can be no shame in losing to a top-10 player especially of Dimitrov’s caliber, but the Kyrgios train is one in the making.

For the victor though, he has once more backed up the observation of experts and tennis fans alike of his status as a top-3 player and remarkably his improving confidence. Asked after the match if Dimitrov can go all the way, Kyrgios retorted, ‘I just told him to believe in himself. Sometimes I think he lacked a bit of belief. But I think he’s got the game and he’s proved to everyone that he can win one of these Slams. So I just told him to believe himself and hopefully he can go all the way.’

In a tightly contested first set with no breaks of serve, it was the Bulgarian who showed more zeal and killer instinct in the ensuing tie break. Dimitrov, who came close to exiting the tournament in round two against American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald, prevailed in another tie break in the second set- but in fairness he could have sealed it a little earlier. Dani Valverdu, Dimitrov’s coach, watched in awe on some of his ball striking and the manner in which he thwarted Kyrgios’ revival.

Kygrios certainly played his part in a finely poised encounter, and just when he attempted to get a foothold in the match, Dimitrov was two feet ahead. In the end, Dimtrov earned his way to a quarter final meeting against Kyle Edmund, but this battling performance against a resurgent Kyrgios who had already beaten him two weeks ago in Brisbane, showed a measure of his true tennis ability.

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