Third seed Grigor Dimitrov won a high-quality four-set encounter against 17th seed Nick Kyrgios to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old Bulgarian needed three hours and 30 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to beat the 22-year-old Aussie 7-6(3),7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4), his quarter-final opponent will be Britain’s Kyle Edmund after he downed Italian Andreas Seppi 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 earlier in the day.
In this match, Dimitrov had the edge most of the time and never let up playing his game by being more consistent, mixing things up and hit a number if stunning forehand winners targeting the Kyrgios forearm side.
The opening set proceeded on serve with neither able to break but Kyrgios did survive three break points in the sixth game to hold and make it 3-3. The opener went to a tiebreaker which Dimitrov won 7-3 to go a set up.
Things went with serve until the seventh game when Dimitrov claimed his 22-year-old opponents serve to lead 4-3. But to his credit, Kyrgios broke back when the Belgian was serving for the set to tie things up at 5-5 and go on to force the tiebreaker.
Again it was Dimitrov who stayed focused, while the Australian seemed to be finding issues with things including his strings, which handed the advantage to the third seed, who went two sets up after winning the tiebreaker 7-4.
In the third, Kyrgios upped his quality and aggression and it paid off with a break in the fifth game for him to lead 3-2. He then went on to claim the set 6-4 with the momentum seemingly with him going into the fourth.
Things went smoothly with serve until the fourth game were Dimitrov managed to hold after saving two break points to make it 2-2.
Then in the eighth game, Dimitrov pounced and claimed the Kyrgios serve to love then proceeded to serve for the match leading 5-3.
But the Australian upped the ante, showing real grit and broke right back, then held serve to make it 5-5. Things went to a tiebreaker which Dimitrov won 7-4 to claim the set and match 7-6 and a berth in the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.