Murray teaches Kyrgios lesson in Australian Open quarters
Melbourne: Teenage prodigy Nick Kyrgios found out just how much work it would take to be a world class tennis player like Andy Murray after the World No.6 comfortably defeated him in their Australian Open quarter-final here Tuesday.
The first teen since 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer – and just the 14th in the Open Era – to make multiple Grand Slam quarter-finals was stopped 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 by the clinical Scot, who is aiming for his third major title, reports Xinhua.
Murray will now for the first time face off against his friend and former coach Dani Vallverdu, whose new student world No.7 Tomas Berdych dismantled No.2 Rafael Nadal in straight sets in another quarter-final Tuesday.
The energetic Kyrgios, 19, performed admirably but by his own admission, needs to step up his physical, mental and technical game if he is to reach the top-tier of tennis.
“He was way too good for me tonight,” said the Australian who will jump into the top 35 after reaching the quarters at the Melbourne Park.
Kyrgios snatched the first two points of the match but it was Murray, wary of the teenager’s raw ability to pull off dangerous ground strokes, who broke first and continuously worked the ball out of Kyrgios’ hitting zones.
Murray was even more ruthless during his own service games, winning 80 per cent of his first serve and 67 per cent of his second.
“It’s incredible how many balls he gets back into play,” said Kyrgios.
“There were points I’d be winning five times over (against lesser opponents). (But) he’d be making me play an extra ball.”
With his trademark passing shots, Murray taught the aggressive Kyrgios that if he was keen to approach the net, he needed to volley better.
Then, noticing Kyrgios approach to close at set point in the tie-break, Murray showed the Australian the true capability of an in-form world beater as the Scot placed another well-weighted lob safely inside the baseline to take a two-set lead.
But the Australian, despite the loss, showed the tennis world why his high energy style would shake up the established order.
“I’m really proud actually. Two weeks ago, I wasn’t even sure I’d be playing the event. It has just been a massive couple of weeks just trying to get fit,” he said.
Murray also sung praises of the boy from Canberra, who has had to deal with local media scrutiny during his campaign here due to his on-court and off-court demeanour.
“I think he’s quite respectful on the court in many ways. He does applaud good shots.”
The 27-year-old Briton who knows a thing or two about enthusiastic home fans advised Australians “not to put too much pressure on him.”
Murray has dropped just one set this tournament and now moves into the last four of Australian Open for the fifth time.
The three-time finalist can reach the final Sunday if he can slide past Tomas Berdych, whose insight into the Scot’s game will be significantly boosted with the addition of Dani Vallverdu.
Vallverdu was Murray’s coach until Murray appointed two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo late last year.
“Definitely it might be an advantage for us,” said Berdych Tuesday after beating Nadal.
The Scot dismissed the advantage of his former coach in the other box in Thursday night’s semi-final.
“My goal isn’t to beat Dani; my goal is to beat Berdych. I also know what Dani thinks of Berdych’s game because he’s told me, so it works both ways,” Murray said.