Nadal Steamrolls Into Australian Open 4th RD; Kyrgios Tsinks Tsonga, Dimitrov Next
by Staff | January 19th, 2018, 7:39 am

A week ago there were doubts about Rafael Nadal. Not anymore. Through three matches at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal has looked dominant, especially so after crushing No. 28 seed Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.

“When you win 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in the third round, is always a great result, no? Without playing well, is impossible to have these kind of results. So happy for that. Happy to be through, yeah, fourth round. Already is good news.”

Nadal, who has dropped just 21 games, figures to continue his roll on Sunday against diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman who knocked out the explosive Alexandr Dolgopolov in four sets 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

“Being honest, he’s a player that if I don’t play my best, probably I don’t going to win,” Nadal said of Schwartzman. “He’s a player that have all the shots, big control from the baseline, don’t miss much. He’s able to change directions easy. He’s a player that already played the quarterfinals in the US Open. He’s already in the fourth round.”

Next week, Nadal could run into Marin Cilic. The Croatian ended the hopes and dreams of Ryan Harrison in straight sets. Cilic now meets the hot-handed US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta who stopped Gilles Muller in the heat of the day.

Also scoring wins in the heat were Kyle Edmund and Grigor Dimitrov.

Edmund collected one of his best career wins holding off Nikolaz Basilashvili 7-6(0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5. Edmund looked out of sorts in the second, seeking treatment for a back injury. But he overcame the ailment, the scorching heat and the Georgian for one of his best wins. Even Andy Murray saluted the effort.

“This one today was very tough,” Edmund said. “Probably hottest conditions I played in for that sort of period of time. I mean, I don’t know the temperatures, but obviously on paper they were saying it was pretty much 40 degrees today. Yeah, just really happy to come through and, you know, mentally it’s a really good win, that sort of match.”

In his first Australian fourth round, Edmund will take on Andreas Seppi. The Italian withstood 52 aces from Ivo Karlovic, who never once broke Seppi, to win it 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-7(5), 9-7 in 3 hours, 51 minutes.

Following a poor performance Wednesday night against the lightly-regarded Mackenzie McDonald, No. 3 seed Dimitrov was hoping for a better showing against the rising Andrey Rublev. But while the Bulgarian took the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, he sprayed errors and doubles faults all over the court.

Dimitrov finished with 61 unforced errors including 15 double faults. And he knows to still be around in a week he’ll have to improve.

“Obviously today was another tough test for me,” Dimitrov said. “I just had to find a way again, simple as that. At least the game was a little bit better than the previous match.

“I’m not going to give any excuses right now,” he added. “It was just not a good day for me serving-wise. I tried to change the way I was tossing the ball or serving throughout the whole match, but just didn’t work. Just didn’t work.

“I have to accept it and move on. 15, 16 double-faults, that’s absolutely unacceptable. So, yeah, hopefully I serve better next round.”

Up next for Dimitrov is a super Sunday showdown against Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios flexed his talent taking out former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four very tough sets 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(5). Kyrgios at the end had to rally from a 5-2 hole in the fourth set breaker to take the last five points.

“I missed a backhand, then I went to the net not in a really bad condition, but he play a passing shot and he touch the net,” Tsonga said of the end. “It’s good play. What I can say? Then he was solid, no, nothing to say.”

Kyrgios improved to a perfect 7-0 in 2018.

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6 Comments for Nadal Steamrolls Into Australian Open 4th RD; Kyrgios Tsinks Tsonga, Dimitrov Next

RZ Says:

@Fred Stone – Hope you see this. I left you instructions on how to reply to a comment on the Racquet Bracket, but copying it here too just in case.

The site doesn’t provide an easy “reply” function, but what you can do is click on the link in Kimberly’s message where it says “Comment on my entry” (the link is the entry number). That will take you to Kimberly’s page. Scroll down to about halfway in the page to where it the green bar is labeled “Comments” and use the “Leave a Comment” box. Hope that works!

In case you need it, link to the bracket is

Humble Rafa Says:

Cat owners can’t appreciate how well I am playing right now. But you are lucky you are not on the receiving end.

j-kath Says:

Wogboy: BBC News Channel this evening stated: AO have agreed to review their “heat” rules at end of this tournament. Not what was stated this morning following Kyle Edmunds match.

Humble Rafa Says:

I like BBC – Bogota Beer Company. I love going there every time. Just don’t believe what the drunks say there.

Wog Boy Says:

Thanks JK,
I don’t know, but it is truly unfair towards players, first, they are not all in the same position, Arenas have a little bit of shade and AC that is flowing down the stands onto the court, outside courts don’t as per Edmunds example. On the other hand some people are saying “they are making good money so let them suffer” which is utterly wrong.
Something has to be done, every industry has unions (at least here) that are negotiating work conditions with employees, I gave example of construction industry, maybe its really time for players to form truly independent union?

j-kath Says:

Humble Rafa: Have you been taking your medication?

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