January 19, 2018
Home favourite Nick Kyrgios continues to light up the Australian Open after he defeated his boyhood hero, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
If he can beat Grigor Dimitrov, the number three seed, then Kyrgios might even start to believe that he can go all the way.
Tsonga didn’t go down without a fight in their evening match. But Kyrgios was simply too dynamic in the end – and managed to close out the victory by securing a hat-trick of edgy tie-breaks 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5).
The Frenchman had led 5-2 in that final breaker, before he was apparently distracted by a twinge in his knee. Ruthless Kyrgios took full advantage to take the five successive points required to win.
Rafael Nadal looks more and more frightening as he continues to crush opponents at will. His latest win came over a shell-shocked Damir Zumhur, who could barely compete. The Spaniard triumphed 6-1, 6-3, 6-1, to keep his energy reserves high.
It was much harder for Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who passed a test of nerve to win a marathon against Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.
That prompted Andy Murray to tweet: ‘Physical test passed…mental strength passed…I reckon that’s the biggest win of Kyle’s career.’
Defeat for Jelena Ostapenko, knocked out by Anett Kontaveit, means that the last two Grand Slam winners left in the women’s draw are Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.
And guess what? They were due to play each other this weekend!
Who will come through? Sharapova’s passion and will to win could be hard to suppress. So there will be no room for the nerves Kerber showed so often when she was world number one.
Both women will know that whoever wins their showdown has a good chance to go all the way and claim the title itself.
The Aussie Open is really hotting up – and we’re not just talking about those 40-degree temperatures.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic look close to their best, but who can last the pace?
We’ll soon find out!