Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios share special moment after classic match

Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios share special moment after classic match

Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios share special moment after classic match

Things have clearly changed.

Grigor Dimitrov ended home hopes of singles success by beating Nick Kyrgios to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals in Melbourne.

The two had met just two weeks ago in Brisbane, where Kyrgios prevailed in three sets, but Dimitrov had won the previous two meetings against the mercurial Australian and has now extended his head-to-head lead over Kyrgios to 3-1, showcasing his improved mental toughness, an aspect of his game where he previously fell short more often than not. Still do. When I saw him out here I was so nervous.

"Even serving for the match I felt it wasn't over". You know, just for fun.

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

"It was a close first set and I didn't feel I got the best start". Past year I really didn't know what I was going to do after the Australian Open. I think everything was great. I've just had a massive month.

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

"I mean, that's why I'm in the quarter-finals, because every time I step on the court and I'm playing, I believe I'm going to win", he said.

But the American, who is coaching 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, told the Melbourne Age newspaper he believes Kyrgios can only take himself so far without help.

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Putting up an offensive masterclass, Dimitrov fended off a break opportunity before finally grabbing the lead and earning the golden chance to serve out the match as Kyrgios sent a smash straight into the net on break point, leaving the crowd speechless.

The match began brightly, with Dimitrov holding his first three service games of the match comfortably as Kyrgios fought off two break points in the sixth game to tie it up.

It took another tiebreak to separate them and a netted forehand by Kyrgios gave Dimitrov the advantage, which this time he did not let slip.

The prime-time clash crackled with intensity from the get-go with Dimitrov's elegant style contrasting with the explosive shot-making of maverick 17th seed Kyrgios.

Dimitrov recovered his poise with a love hold but Kyrgios replied in kind with a 36th ace to force another tiebreak.

On Friday, Kyrgios put the tennis world on notice with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) victory over French journeyman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Friday in the third round.

The Bulgarian next faces Britain's Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals.

Nadal will play Croatian Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals, after he edged Pablo Carreno Busta, also in four sets, while Edmund came from behind to beat 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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