Its the blockbuster fourth round match everyone has been waiting for since the start of the tournament. Nick Kyrgios has been in very good form in the run up to the Australian Open. He won his first ATP tournament in Australia at Brisbane International. The Australian people are happy to see him carry his good form into the Australian Open. He was at this best in the first two rounds. He faced a seasoned player in Victor Troicki in the second round and came through with flying colors. The third round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was billed as a tough one for the young Australian. With the fresh prince himself overlooking from the stands, Kyrgios came through in 4 tight sets. Victory against Tsonga would have given him a lot of confidence. He promptly withdrew from his doubles match. It was a decision he had to make considering the soaring temperatures in Melbourne.
The fourth round match against Grigor Dimitrov may be the defining match of Kyrgios’ career. The Australian has immense potential but has often been criticized for this erratic behavior. He had an ordinary 2017 but he seems to be playing the best tennis of his career at this tournament. His opponent Grigor Dimitrov, fondly called Baby Fed because of the uncanny resemblance of his game to that of Federer’s, has also faced criticism through out his career for not playing to his true potential. The Bulgarian finally hit a purple patch last year. He won four titles including a couple of big ones in Cincinnati (where he beat Kyrgios in the final) and London. His epic semifinal against Rafael Nadal at last year’s Australian Open is still fresh in memory. He will be hoping to go one step further this year. Dimitrov has looked rusty in the opening rounds. He struggled against Mackenzie McDonald in his second round match. He was even baggled by the American in the fourth set. He is a rhythm player and if he is on song, he can wrap things up quickly.
Its tough to predict the winner of this match. Nick Kyrgios won the last time they faced each other at Brisbane in the semifinals. But a five set match at this level is a completely different ball game. Dimitrov is the more experienced of the two and we would like to think that experience matters in such big matches. The crowd will be behind the local hero and it will be a great atmosphere for sure on Rod Laver arena. We are going with Grigor Dimitrov in five sets but we would not really be upset if Nick Kyrgios makes it through. All we are hoping for is a tight match and some great tennis to savor.