Murray Schools Kyrgios; Nadal, Halep Upset at Australian Open
by Staff | January 27th, 2015, 8:33 am

Andy Murray squelched Aussie hopes on Tuesday at the Australian Open, defeating 19-year-old breakout player Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach his fifth Australian Open semifinal in the past six years.
“It was a tricky match. I tried to start as quickly as possible,” said the No. 6-seeded Murray. “I’ve seen Nick’s matches. I know exactly what he’s capable of. He’s a huge hitter of the ball so I tried to keep it out of his strike zone.”

The combustible Kyrgios went down a break at 4-2 in the first and was eventually given a warning for profanity before losing 6-3. In the tight second set tiebreak Kyrgios was the aggressor, but Murray stole the advantage with two exceptional lob winners off the forehand and backhand.

“That was my first Aussie Open Grand Slam match playing on Rod Laver [Arena], so that was really cool,” Kyrgios said. “But he was way too good for me tonight. There are some things I can take from that match and get better at. Yeah, he was just way too good for me…I said to him at the net, ‘This is your time; go get him.’ I think he’s got a really good chance of winning the whole thing.”

In the semis Murray will meet Tomas Berdych, who on Tuesday ended the tournament-long suffering of Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6(5).

“The plan that we put together was the right one,” Berdych said. “Everything was working. I was able to execute it really well. But until the last point you can’t think about anything else.”

Nadal, who has experienced physical troubles during the tournament after off-season issues, said he was not brimming with confidence to start the match.

“The third was the right set, the right game that I have to play,” Nadal said. “But is obvious that before I didn’t play with the right confidence, with the right intensity, losing court, playing very short. I make him play very easy. So you cannot expect to win matches in quarterfinals of Grand Slam helping the opponent to play well. That’s what I did…When you have injuries, are difficult the comebacks. Without being at my top level of tennis I was able to be here in quarterfinals. Is not a bad result at all for me arriving here the way I arrived — only with one match, only with five matches in seven months.”

In the women’s quarterfinals on Tuesday, No. 10 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russian sent world No. 3 Simona Halep packing in an emphatic 6-4, 6-0 rout. Hoping to join the upset party, No. 7-seeded Canadian Genie Bouchard was less successful, seen off by world No. 2 Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2.

“I knew she was going to be aggressive in those first two or three balls,” said Sharapova, who relentlessly pounded the Bouchard second serve. “I tried to take that away a little bit from Genie. I managed to do that pretty well today.”

Bouchard booted 30 unforced errors during the match in the face of the Sharapova ground attack.

“I felt under pressure the whole time, a bit on my back foot,” Bouchard said. “That’s not how I want to play. I feel like I didn’t start well, and it kind of all went downhill from there. It’s definitely easier when you have a good start to the match…Just some bad errors. I didn’t feel like I was kind of dominating the ball like I usually want to. Yeah, I felt a bit under pressure, and I felt like I didn’t have enough time maybe to set up as I normally do.”

In the semis Sharapova will meet her fellow Russian Makarova.

“We’ve practiced a little bit I think during Fed Cup, but that was a few years ago,” Sharapova said. “We played already a few times. There’s no secrets in each other’s games, that’s for sure.”

For Halep there were many secrets, secrets that could not be deciphered during the quarterfinal beatdown which ended in a second-set bagel.

“Just I was a little bit stressed,” said Halep, whose unforced error count during the short match time jumped over 30, looking shell shocked in her post-match conference. “I don’t know why. I had experience from last year to play quarterfinals, so it doesn’t mean that I felt pressure. Just I didn’t feel the game, the ball. Was a very bad day for me.”

The 26-year-old lefty has never figured Sharapova out in their career meetings, hoping 2015 is a different story in the semifinals.

“I never beat her, so it will be tough,” Makarova said of her Russian-American countrywoman. “Definitely she’s a great fighter. Like here on the second round, she almost lost, but she turned around. I’m looking forward. I need to believe to myself and don’t really think that it’s semis, that I’m one step from final. So it’s just a normal match like always, you know. Just go out there and enjoy my game.”

Wednesday in Oz will feature the blockbuster quarterfinals (18) Venus Williams vs. Madison Keys, (1) Serena Williams vs. (11) Dominika Cibulkova, (4) Stan Wawrinka vs. (5) Kei Nishikori, and in the late match (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (8) Milos Raonic.

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52 Comments for Murray Schools Kyrgios; Nadal, Halep Upset at Australian Open

TGIT Says:

I regret to have some joy that Rafa is out. I could not handle a double career slam. It is the sad state of the Fedfan. Hope Rafa feels better but not so much better he wins another French. :-)

jane Says:

for all you nick haters and dislikers ;)

i still think nick the kid is awesome and look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

RZ Says:

Murray was asked about playing Berdych and how Berdych will know all about his game from Dani Vallverdu. Murray gave a classic response – ” I also know what Dani thinks of Berdych’s game because he’s told me, so it works both ways.”

Giles Says:

What is so unusual about NK’s tweets? He was outplayed today and is just complimenting Andy. Players do it all the time.

Okiegal Says:

I guess I come under the “dislike” group. I could never hate anyone. I think he needs to show a little more restraint with his explosive mouth. He got a warning real quick after the match started. He dropped the f-bomb two more times……He didn’t have any points to be penalized for. The commentators stated that he was trying the official by still doing it. Some people think that behavior is OK because he’s young……overlook it?? Until he is called out and suffers the consequences by being penalized, this behavior will continue. He was taken down a peg or two by Andy and I was glad. He was even telling the crowd to be quiet…..who does he think he is?? He’s got a lot to learn in my books. Having said that, he is a talented player and I hope he sees fit to tone it down a bit. He had the crowd on his side this time……but his actions in another venue will be a different story. It’s one thing to be a little cocky but it’s another thing to be a down right smart aleck….My 2 cents….

Margot Says:

Oh RZ how I love that response!
Like Nic saying, “Go get him!”

Margot Says:

And Andy’s response is gr8 too.

SG1 Says:

Love the way Murray is playing right now. Andy will need to serve a good percentage against Berdych. If he can do this, I think he’ll get by him.

All credit to Berdych but I think that anyone who saw Rafa yesterday has to honestly acknowledge that some things didn’t look right. He rarely looks so defensive and inconsistent. One of the worst matches I’ve seen him play. This isn’t about injury. Rafa looked like a guy who was just lost out there for the first two sets against a guy who doesn’t afford you time to work into a match.

Anyway, Rafa has the claycourt season to look forward to and I suspect that by May, he’ll be looking a whole lot better.

I wouldn’t read too much into Rafa’s loss right now. I saw him get pumelled by DelPo at the 2009 USO (I think). Post 2009, his career didn’t seem to suffer too much. Rafa’s getting older but I think he’s still got some big wins left in him…though 18 majors seems like a tall order.

SG1 Says:

Bouchard looked completely outgunned again playing Sharapova. Seems like the really big hitters are giving her trouble. Particularly on faster surfaces. I think that there needs to be more attention paid to tactics. Maybe her next coach could focus in on this. I think that if Jimmy Connors was looking for a coaching gig, this could be a good one. Bouchard is a hard worker and a gritty competitor. Connors is one of the best tacticians to ever play the game. Unlike the Maria debacle, I think that Connors could find common groud with Genie.

The other person I’d consider if I were her…Chris Evert. She found a way to overcome Martina’s power game. Some good synergy there too.

SG1 Says:

Sanchez-Vicario would be another good choice. Says:

I’m not sure tactics would have helped much. Fact is, they are both aggressive players and you have to put Maria away early in a point before she hits her bombs. Genie went for it, took the big risks, and missed. Piles of UEs. Plain and simple, both players went for big shots but Maria made hers. Credit to her.

I like Kyrgios’ game a lot, but I haven’t seen him enough to speak to those behaviour issues. I think this tournament is still a huge success, he’s shown Wimbledon was not a one-and-done deal, we’re going to be seeing him late in tournaments and he’s going to get better. I think Milos and Kei are looking over their shoulders at this kid coming up, ready to take the reins before those two or Grigor get much of a “turn” at the top.

andrea Says:

@sg1 i agree re: genie. she looked like she did against kvitova @ wimby. not able to adjust to the power and depth. there is also something in her strokes – exagarated shoulder turns to offset the lack of stability of her lower body when she hits certain shots – that needs to be addressed.

chris evert really likes her…i think she would be a good choice.

props to makarova as well – she’s plowed to the semis totally under the radar.

jane Says:

margot, totally agree that the exchange between them was nice. andy knows about being criticized and told to tone his language down, watch what he says, abstain from gesticulating at his box, etc, etc, etc, and a long litany of “don’ts and be carefuls,” so i am sure he “gets” nick on a certain level.

Humble Rafa Says:

Unlike the Maria debacle, I think that Connors could find common groud with Genie.

His ego cannot fit into any available plane. Hence it can’t go anywhere. He won’t go without his ego.

andrea Says:

@ jane

bonus points for ‘gesticulating’.

don’t see that very often.

Wog Boy Says:

Nick the Kid didn’t have the choice but to be humble after Andy gave him tennis lesson. It wasN’t Hinsense Arena, Andy never gave him a chance during the match to engage fans and most importantly, Nick got code violation at the very beginning of the match for abusive language, something char umpire missed to do against Seppi, next code violation would be point for Andy. I saw both pressos and yes, Nick was humble, but what choice did he really have but to be humble? It would be another storry if he won, trust me.
BTW, chair umpire had to give Nick second code violation in the TB and point to Andy when Nick brought the racquet, Andy questioned his decission and said “I was always given code violation when broke ine and saw anybody escaping one after braking the racquet but umpire told him that it is not compulsory to get one after braking racquet”!
This is the view of one of Nick “haters” ..;)

Wog Boy Says:

^^ you get what I want to say regardless of spelling and other mistakes, don’t you?:)

Brando Says:

Nick Kyrgios:

For me he’s a obvious arrogant t–t!

It is what it is:

It’s got nothing to do with him beating Rafa. Berdych did so yesterday, Darcis, Rosol in the past and got no problems with any of those guys.

Novak did 0-7 and I still he’s a great guy. So that matters not.

It’s just about his behaviour, his oncourt demeanour his attitude.

Some have said he’s similar to a young Djokovic but that’s complete bollocks. They are mistaking confidence- which Novak had at a young age- with acting like a chump: which is what Nick does.

Novak never acted like a tool, nor did Nadal who also a very confident youngster, racked up the all time most titles for a teen including Grand Slams:

But NEVER acted like a tool towards the other players.

‘The Wild Thing’ to me seems like one for the short haul not the long haul with that attitude.

El_Flaco Says:

Andy was hitting some ferocious forehands in the last point of the match. If he continues to do that then he can win the tournament.

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t want anyone to take what I am going to say as anything but my observatio that can be wrong.

If you read Rafa’s presso everything is fine, he gave credit to Berdych, said he is not match fit and so on. But, if watch and listen to him during the same presso (as I did) the picture is different. To me, Rafa, for the first time dince I watch him, looke very tired, dejected and suddenly aged person and that after seven months lay off and not physically demanding match, and that is not good look. As Jim Courier noticed, Rafa played like his feet were stuck in cement, he didn’t even try to chase some balls previous Rafa would return as a winners.
Now, I am in no doubt that Rafa and mostly uncle Toni believed that they can this on off, to win AO, (happy with QF is BS) one has just to look at UT reactions and body language in the box during the match, but Rafa’s body (maybe mind too) wasn’t up to it for most part of the match. How badly they wanted to win this one we can see after second set when that bloke ftom the Rafa box did a desperate run for the pill that was suppose to kick start Rafa’s body. If you think I am saying it was some sort of drug, no, they are not stupid, it was some powerful stuff with the aim to kick start Rafa’s body that wasn’t really moving in the first to sets and started to move better after but it was to late, Berdych was in the zone.

jane Says:

thanks andrea. :)

as i said wog boy, i havent seen enough of nick to feel bothered by his behaviour; the only matches i’ve seen in full of his were the wimbledon matches versus rafa/milos and his match against robredo at the us open last year. i dont recall him swearing profusely at either of those, and while he was show-boating somewhat versus rafa, i don’t recall any outright rudeness or tension in the same way i do with soderling or rosol and rafa. (though it has been a while) so for me, the jury’s still out. ;) so far, i like his game and think he’s an interesting character. we can agree to disagree for now, and i’ll watch with interest the rest of the season.

skeezer Says:

“For me he’s a obvious arrogant t–t!”….
…that has beaten Rafa.
Its about winning, not about being humble or arrogant.

Wog Boy Says:

What is “t-t”?

Okiegal Says:


Guest Says:

Just so sad to see this talented kid lose to a player whose game is average and lacks anything worth of memory. Everything’s in Andy Murray’s favor once again… Nevertheless, I believe Nick will be the number one player soon and will have many deserved Grand Slam victories to his name. Such a talent!

autoFilter Says:

“a player whose game is average and lacks anything worth of memory.”

Does this refer to Murray?? Please clarify – my eyes aren’t sure how far to roll back into my head.

Okiegal Says:

My coach used to give us something to take before every game……they were big white sugar pills! Are they legit in the realm of tennis? In another match, a player took a pill between games and the commentators made mention it was probably a muscle relaxer. I guess they’re legal? That was surprising to me.

Okiegal Says:

@autoFilter…..My eyes are rolling too after that comment….LOL. Yes, please clarify quick…..I might go blind……

Wog Boy Says:

@Okie @8:02pm


autoFilter Says:

Ha, right? I appreciate the solidarity, Okiegal.

Okiegal Says:

@Wog Boy……Well, there’s another one that comes to mind, but a tad off color…..don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression of me…..confident it’s the “raunchy” one, because they would have spelled twit out!! Lol Says:

I’m curious about the Nick Hate. At wimbledon I rather liked him, didn’t see any real rudeness in his interviews, but I haven’t seen him since.
How has he been disrespectful to other players?

Does he frequently throw tantrums on court? Is he mean spirited or aggressive in them or just swearing in frustration?

Wog Boy Says:

In my case it is not hate (I can’t hate, I couldn’t even hate my previous mother in law), in my case it is dislike, that’s all. We all have our preferences, some people like blondes I don’t (sorry blonde ladies, nothing personal), I like brunettes and red hair ladies (any day…or night:) some like Nick, I don’t, I like Seppi and so on..

mat4, I didn’t give up on Monica Bellucci, it will happen one day..

Okiegal Says:

@Wog Boy 9:48……Agree with you, my thoughts exactly…..I even prefer brunette guys, but no redheads. Now I know why you don’t like me…..very very blond, fresh out of the bottle!! Lol Silver headed guys are growing on me. They have too, hubby would be hurt!! Lol

Daniel Says:

Wot Boy, I am with you, Monica Bellucci is the sexiest woman alive, she oozes sex appeal. Must be kind of annoying from her, because it’s the kind of beauty that makes people uncomfortable around you, not knowing how to act.

Wog Boy Says:

It is good too see people agreeing with me…for a change:)

thark Says:

People expect too much.

The way everyone talks about Nick Kyrgios reminds me of applying to graduate school Harvard University. The applicants are supposed to be at the very top of their field, essentially without peers. At the same time, they are expected to be “well-rounded” individuals with an infinite amount of time for pursuing hobbies (though mind you, your hobbies will be judged, so they must be impressive and respected hobbies). In the time that you aren’t completely dominating your chosen field of study, I certainly hope you are proving that you have extraordinary compassion. You *have* created several charitable organisations from scratch, have you not?

Give me a break.

At the age of 19, you’re supposed to walk into Rod Laver arena and beat the best players in the world. Under pressure that would crush most normal humans to their knees. You’re supposed to avoid any cursing, epitomise humility, and stay for 2 hours afterwards to sign autographs. He’s a kid, he’s figuring things out, that is all. A little ego seems to help this particular kid cope, so he uses that. Maybe he’ll grow out of it and maybe he won’t, but at 19 I can’t claim to have been any more mature.

I was in Hisense when Kyrgios beat Seppi in 5 and the atmosphere was electric. It is remarkably FUN to watch him play. Love him or hate him – he isn’t going anywhere.

jane Says:

nice post thark. and kudos if you’re applying to harvard!

thark Says:

Haha – no Jane it was just an example – their “Creative Tennis Commentary” major is fully subscribed at the moment…

jane Says:

^dang! well keep your eyes peeled for openings in that major… ;)

skeezer Says:

Good post.

Colin Says:

I wonder if young NK will end up like Mofils – someone you watch for entertainment, but don’t expect to win major events? To be fair, he seems (so far at any rate) to be less subject to injury than the Frenchman.

Colin Says:

Whoops, that should be MONFILS!

Margot Says:

@autofilter and OK
Well, MY eyes have fallen clean out of the back of my head..;)

Okiegal Says:

@Margot……You too??? :)

Giles Says:
An article on this most undesirable teenager, Kyrgios. Shame on the AO officials for letting these misdemeanours pass. I’d like to see this guy try these tantrums at RG, WImby and USO if he dares!

skeezer Says:

^funny you types are whiners about a 19yr old abusing codes and rules when there as been a guy on tour whos been doing it for a decade. Nick will grow out of it for sure.
My guess is your still not over this kids triumphiant win at Wimby over you know who.

Giles Says:

^^^ Stop being childish. NK committed misdemeanours for which he should have been penalised but wasn’t. That is the crux of my complaint. And stop your rubbish of bringing Rafa into all your comments. Geez.

Emily Says:

@Colin, I also was reminded of Monfils w/ all the talk about NK. He plays to the crowds and does have a back injury already, which may be why he has a 1-7 record outside of the slams. I think their on-court behavior is very different and Monfils has never been close to getting kicked out of the US Open.

I’m not sure about this kid yet, and he does seem chill during his press conferences, but he’ll have to prove he can play outside of the slams before we declare him the next big thing.

Giles Says:

NK is not a kid. He is 19 yrs old and therefore an adult!

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