Sport Tennis Australian Open: Kyrgios wins epic clash to set up Nadal showdown

Australian Open: Kyrgios wins epic clash to set up Nadal showdown

Nick Kyrgios shows his style on his way to a win on Saturday night. Photo: AAP
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Nick Kyrgios has played the longest match of his career to defeat Russian Karen Khachanov and set up a blockbuster showdown with Rafael Nadal.

The Australian won the first two sets, only to concede the next two, before taking the final set tiebreaker 6-2 7-6 6-7 6-7 7-6.

“Man, it was crazy … That was insane,” Kyrgios told Channel Nine in the moments after a match that went four hours and 26 minutes.

“I’ve got no words to how I’m feeling right now. None of that would
have happened without my team, that’s for sure. They supported me the whole time.

After winning the first two sets, Kyrgios had a match point in both the third set and fourth set but could not seal the deal.

“I was losing it mentally a little bit,” the Australian admitted.

It wasn’t easy losing the third and losing the fourth after having match points. But my team, my support team, you guys willed me over the line. I thought I was going to lose, honestly.”

Kyrgios said of his Monday clash with Nadal: “He is an amazing player. He is arguably the greatest of all time. I am not thinking about that but thinking about my legs and an ice bath and getting some food.”

Earlier, Nadal blew fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta off Rod Laver Arena, not even facing a break point in the 6-1 6-2 6-4 demolition.

His serve was unstoppable during the third-round encounter, dropping just one point off his first serves in the final set against the 27th seed.

The 19-time major winner said he was happy with his form going into the round of 16, but was not looking too far ahead.

“It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt – big difference between today and the previous days,” Nadal said.

“I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand.

“Every day is a different story. But, of course, is important to make steps forward.

“It’s clear that today, I made an important one.”

-with AAP