Australian Open epic sees Kyrgios beaten in five sets by Thiem


The Australian Open action over the weekend has both reduced the field in the Men’s Singles event and improved the chances of anyone backing the top three as Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal all made stride towards the business end of the year’s first Grand Slam.Others fell by the wayside, however, including both men who were involved in the game of the Australian Open so far.Kyrgios Leads by Two Sets, Loses in FiveThe roar of approval for Nick Kyrgios in taking on Dominic Thiem could have been heard from the moon as the bad boy of men’s tennis clashed with a player he had previously described as exciting as “watching paint dry”.It was Kyrgios who started best, up to all his old tricks to gain every advantage he could against a tough opponent. From under-arm serving to vicious forehands let loose with an almost personal level of anger against the ball for daring to cross the net, Kyrgios raced into a two-set before his opponent had a chance to set himself.Thereafter, however, Thiem’s immense experience counted. Grinding himself back into the contest, the Austrian frustrated his opponent before drawing level. In the fifth and final set, Kyrgios had chances to put pressure on his opponent but too often they quickly slid away to leave his own serve to be tested. In the end, Thiem did enough to force the break and get over the line.The Field NarrowsDespite that victory, the quick turnaround time determined Thiem’s Round of 16 match against Grigor Dimtrov would go against him, with a simple straight sets win for the Bulgarian meaning he progressed. With Novak Djokovic making it past Milos Raonic despite a troubling abdominal injury, the Serb’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory would be bettered by German Alexander Zverev, who won 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 against Djokovic’s fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic.Elsewhere, Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev continues to fulfill his dreams and although he’s a 66/1 outsider, is a dangerous opponent for anyone left in the draw. He will play Dimitrov hoping the big Bulgarian slips up.With Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev possibly on a collision course to renew their 2019 U.S. Open rivalry, each man will be trying to catch the other on a bad day.Here are the latest Men’s Singles odds to win the Australian Open title:Australian Open Men’s Singles Latest Odds(via Oddschecker):Novak Djokovic – 7/4Daniil Medvedev – 3/1 Rafael Nadal – 5/1Alexander Zverev – 7/1Stefanos Tsitsipas – 12/1Andrey Rublev – 12/1Grigor Dimitrov – 12/1

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Posted on 3:05 am

Australian Open sees some shocks as Djokovic scrapes through


It took some time to arrive, but now that it’s here, the 2021 Australian Open is the first tennis Grand Slam of the year and the action has begun Down Under.  With Serbian sledger Novak Djokovic the favourite in the Men’s Singles, we’ve taken a look at the routes to the final and how the opening matches can guide us towards making the right bets.  Big Names Survive Scares in Early Rounds  Rafael Nadal may have made light work of the opening round match he had against Serbian player Laslo Djere, but the ease with which the Majorcan made the 2nd round wasn’t shared by some others.  Nadal won 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to advance in style, and he was joined in Round 2 by Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, both Russians advancing without worry, but elsewhere, big names either clung onto their next round berth or were eliminated.  David Goffin was beaten in five sets by homegrown Aussie wildcard Alexei Popyrin, while 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut couldn’t put a Spanish flag in sight of the win as he went down in four sets despite leading to Moldovan outsider Radu Albot.  Swiss star Stan Wawrinka lost in five sets too, shot down 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (11-9) by gutsy opponent from Hungary Marton Fucsovics. The same fate nearly befell Novak Djokovic, whose match against the American Frances Tiafoe went this way and that before seeing the world number one progress in four sets.  Kyrgios the Star of the Show  There was no doubt who the crowds who were allowed into the Melbourne Arena were there to see, with Nick Kyrgios, ranked 47th in the world, took on French 29th seed Ugo Humbert.  In a rollercoaster tie, Kyrgios lost the first set, smashed his racquet to receive a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, moaned about net cords and grumbled his way through five sets.  He also saved four match points during the fourth set, rallied with some amazing winners and eventually, stunningly, outlasted Humbert to triumph 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in a shade under four hours.  Kyrgios was great to watch in the post-match interview instead:  Impossible to fully dislike, the crowd (and likely Kyrgios) really will go wild in the next round as the brattish Aussie will take on reigning U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem, who Kyrgios compared to ‘watching paint dry’ when sharing some time inspired by red wine with Andy Murray in a live Q&A during the original pandemic lockdown.  Thiem taking on home-boy Kyrgios? Like oh-so-many sewing enthusiasts, we’re here for that kind of needle.  Current Australian Open Odds (via Oddschecker):  Novak Djokovic – 6/5  Daniil Medvedev – 4/1  Rafael Nadal – 8/1  Dominic Thiem – 9/1  Stefanos Tsitsipas – 14/1  Alexander Zverev – 20/1  Andrey Rublev – 27/1  Alex De Minaur – 50/1  Nick Kyrgios – 50/1  

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Posted on 1:20 am