World number one and top seed Rafael Nadal will face his first real test at the 2020 Australian Open when he meets Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round on Monday, January 27. The match will start at 7pm local time (9 am BST). Get all the Rafael Nadal v Nick Kyrgios live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Nick Kyrgios Head to Head
Meetings between Nadal and Kyrgios have been slow burners in the early years, but the pair have now developed an explosive rivalry. They have met seven times on tour, with Nadal leading 4-3 overall. But at Grand Slam level, they are tied at 1-1 with both matches taking place at Wimbledon.
Here’s more on the Nadal v Kyrgios rivalry…
Nadal Braced For First Real Test At The Tournament
They always say, in sport you can only beat what is in front of you and for Rafael Nadal, it is fair to say his path to the fourth round of the Australian Open has been a stroll in the park. The Spaniard handed a chastening beat-down to fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta, the 27th seed, in just 98 minutes, winning 6-1 6-2 6-4.
Nadal once again dictated proceedings with his monstrous forehand, and for the second match running he did not face a single break point. He is now into the second week of a major for the 48th time in his career (third in Open Era behind Roger Federer, 68, and Novak Djokovic, 50).
The 33-year-old will have his eyes firmly on the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he chases a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam singles title, and subsequently could become the first player to triumph at every major at least two times. A lot of tennis pundits have been quick to narrow down Nadal’s half of the draw as a straight ticket to the final and potentially set another one-sided final against his rival Novak Djokovic.
The Spanish left-hander was in excellent form in Melbourne last year, tearing through the draw without losing set before he was dismantled by the Serb. But this time round he will face some major obstacles if he is to reach the showpiece final, with his first real test coming against mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Does Kyrgios Have The Legs For Another Marathon Match?
Nick Kyrgios battled to a four-hour 24-minute victory over the number 16 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia and advanced to the fourth round of Australian Open for the third time.
Kyrgios labelled the five-set thriller as ‘one of the craziest matches of his career’, and in fairness, he was not wrong. Just when it seemed he was breezing into a straight-sets win, he turned it into a brutal war with his nerves and those of the partisan crowd inside Melbourne Arena.
The 24-year-old squandered a match-point in the third set, then recklessly dived across the court and suffered a bloodied hand. He received a time violation for sparring a ball kid from touching his bloody towel. Kyrgios then trailed in the final set tiebreak. It all seemed to come together for another classic Kyrgios meltdown.
But the Australian was inspired. He beat aching limbs and produced one of the best shots at this year’s Australian Open when the trailed 8-7 in the decisive 10-point tiebreak. The backhand-down-the-line winner was the catalyst in his recovery and he went on to win the match.
Rafael Nadal v Nick Kyrgios Predictions & Tips
The history between these two players is well-chronicled and their matches on hard courts have been very close. In fact Kyrgios leads 2-1 on the surface, winning in Cincinnati and Acapulco – the latter he saved three match-points. But the Australian admitted after his win over Khachanov, he was running empty and his legs weighed 40 kilos each. If you’re Rafael Nadal that is exactly what you would want to hear. Expect the Spaniard to pierce the Kyrgios balloon and move into the last eight.
Tip: Nadal to win in straight sets: 11/10 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)