Australia’s number 17 seed Nick Kyrgios has lost to number 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open 2018. The bad boy of tennis proved that he has the temperament to win playing exceptionally well, taking Dimitrov to 4 sets with 3 tie breakers.
Kyrgios’s maturity has been prevalent in and out of the game with him telling Dimitrov that he believes he can make it all the way and win the title while shaking hands following their match. Kyrgios was applauded off stage following his hard fought game.
This comes as a huge contrast to his exit last year after being booed off the court following his loss in the second-round to Andreas Seppi.
Prior to the match, Kyrgios met a young girl battling with leukemia on the court where they traded shots. The gesture in meeting her hero was seen as a stunt to boost Kyrgios public image via social media perception.
However from his attitude following his loss with Dimitrov it seems like it was a genuine gesture and that he is maturing not just to better his public image.
The fiery temper of Kyrgios made an appearance with him showing frustration to his support crew. He was unhappy with the stringing of his rackets saying that his support crew only had one job to do the whole day and they couldn’t even do that.
Whether the racket was the problem or not will remain with Kyrgios as he left his newly strung racket sitting in the plastic bag for the remainder of the game following the second set.
However Kyrgios translated that temper into his play with second serves being over 200km/h at times. His offensive playstyle put Dimitrov through his paces but Dimitrov’s defensive play prevailed in the end. The match could have gone either way with only a couple of points separating each set.
Kyrgios had beaten Dimitrov in the Brisbane International semi-finales earlier this month; however the two haven’t met in a grand slam before where the stakes are obviously higher.
His determination and the new temperament of Kyrgios prove that he has the composure to win. Kyrgios has said that he now has a goal in mind and is aiming to improve his play rather than just playing for the sake of playing.
In the end, Dimitrov won a total of 157 point while Kyrgios received 156 proving to the tennis world that he is a contender for the top seed. Kyrgios will have until the beginning of February to recover before he is set to face Germany’s 4th seed Alexander Zverev at the Davis Cup in Brisbane.