By Jonathan Jurejko BBC Sport at Melbourne Park Rafael Nadal paid tribute to Nick Kyrgios’ talent and attitude after the match2020 Australian OpenVenue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 FebruaryCoverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app; Watch highlights…
By Jonathan Jurejko
BBC Sport at Melbourne Park
|2020 Australian Open|
|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 February|
|Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app; Watch highlights on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.|
Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal battled past rival Nick Kyrgios in a thrilling four-set match to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Nadal, 33, had not dropped a set this tournament before 23rd seed Kyrgios provided his biggest test so far.
Kyrgios, who wore a Kobe Bryant basketball shirt in the warm-up, battled hard but Nadal came through 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).
Nadal will face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last eight.
Nadal and Kyrgios have not always seen eye to eye with the rivalry blowing up last year after a tempestuous meeting in Acapulco.
Afterwards the 19-time Grand Slam champion accused Kyrgios of lacking respect before the Australian responded by calling him “super-salty”.
Yet the respect for each other’s ability on the court, despite their wildly contrasting styles, has rarely been in doubt.
“When Nick is playing like he did today with this positive attitude he brings a lot of things to our sport,” said Nadal, who won his only Australian Open title in 2009.
“I encourage him to keep working like this because he is one of the biggest talents of our tour.”
More to follow.