Australian Open 2018: Dimitrov edges Kyrgios on four-set blockbuster

Australian Open 2018: Dimitrov edges Kyrgios on four-set blockbuster

Things have clearly changed.

Aussie firebrand Nick Kyrgios has revealed his frustration at being knocked out of his home grand slam in an epic fourth-round battle with third seed Grigor Dimitrov at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night.

"Two weeks ago I lost against him. he was serving unbelievable, playing unbelievable and competing".

Of course with him, calm is a relative concept: He still muttered, chatted to the umpire, tried out a few monologues, berated his box, sent a ball high into the crowd, reprimanded a fan, but he harmed no one nor himself.

The friends shared an intense moment at the net after the match, and Kyrgios said: "Sometimes I think he lacks a bit of belief".

"I always surround myself by knowing my weaknesses and filling those gaps".

"I just feel like I'm trying to get better".

"I feel confident. I still feel confident after losing that match".

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.

Nick Kyrgios was unhappy with the stringing of his racquet throughout the match, yet still produced some mesmerising tennis.

"I learned that I can switch to another gear when I really need it", Dimitrov said after he dismissed the local hope.

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Staring down the barrel of a straight-sets exit, Kyrgios threw caution to the wind, claiming an unruly third set before steadying to force Dimitrov to produce his best tennis to close out a thriller 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6.

Kyrgios belted away a backhand and then whipped away a forehand to drag it back to 4-4, but Dimitrov replied with a punishing forehand down the line to move 5-4 ahead before a couple of Kyrgios errors gave the Bulgarian a two-set lead.

But Dimitrov got a crucial service break in the eighth game of the fourth set when Kyrgios put a smash into the net to allow the Bulgarian to serve out for the match.

Watch what Dimitrov did for Kyrgios in the video below.

On this occasion, though, tiebreaks were Kyrgios' kryptonite. Again, Dimitrov was the aggressor and it paid off for the Bulgarian winning the tight second set 7-6 (4).

And on this occasion, it kept going as Kyrgios left the court.

Victory ensured that Nadal will retain his world number one ranking as he set up a meeting with sixth seed and former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals.

Elise Mertens won 7-6, 7-5 against Croatia's Petra Martic, with the Belgian now set to face Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who beat the Czech Republic's Denisa Allertova 6-3, 6-0.

In the absence of Andy Murray, it was a landmark day for another Brit as Kyle Edmund broke new ground in reaching his first grand slam quarter-final, defeating Andreas Seppi 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-2 6-3.

It took him until the midway point of the second set to send it for restringing, but by then the psychological damage had been done; regular bouts of head-shaking and muttering crept into his game and took his attention off a very evenly-matched opponent who finally hit form after so almost being sent packing by the American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald in round two.

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