Rafa to John McEnroe on Kobe Bryant's death: "I woke up this morning with this terrible news. I'm super sad. He has been one of the greatest sportsman in history. He deserves a big round of applause (the crowd obliges). He always wanted more, he always wanted to increase his level. He was a true inspiration. It's one of those days you want to forget but of course Kobe Bryant will be in our hearts and minds forever."
Bubbling animosity has characterised relations between the two, after Nadal accused Kyrgios of lacking respect and the Australian fired back that the Spaniard was "super salty". There was also little to split them, with Nadal leading their career head-to-head 4-3 but Kyrgios 2-1 up on hardcourts and an even 1-1 in their Grand Slam matches, both at Wimbledon. The second of those, last year, was a torrid affair, with Kyrgios ranting at the umpire, serving underarm and deliberately firing a forehand at the Spaniard. However, Kyrgios struck a conciliatory tone before Monday's match, saying there was a "layer of respect" between the two players, despite their differences.
Fourt Set: Nadal 5-6 Kyrgios
What a comeback by Kyrgios! The Australian has found a second wind as he holds his serve after yet another deuce. Two absolutely stomping points from the world number 23 ensures that he takes the lead and now Nadal will have to serve to stay in the set. Kyrgios runs back to his chair, perhaps to show he still has some extra energy left.
Alexander Zverev beats Andrey Rublev in straight sets!
The German won 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Zverev ended Rublev's 15-match winning streak, like he had promised before the match, and moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over the Russian player at Melbourne Arena.
Rublev hadn't lost a match since October, having won four matches at the Davis Cup finals and winning titles in Doha and Adelaide to start this season.
It is the first Australian Open quarterfinal for Zverev, and his third at a Grand Slam event. The seventh-seeded Zverev will next play 2014 Australian champion Stan Wawrinka.
Nadal takes the lead.
Tiebreak and a shattered racket later, Rafael Nadal takes the third set 7-6(8-6) against Nick Kyrgios!
Nadal had won the 1st set 6-3 vs and then Kyrgios won the 2nd 6-3 too.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beats Angelique Kerber 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 6-2!
The No.30 seed topples the 17th seed, meaning that there will be a first-time Australian Open champion in the women's draw.
Pavlyuchenkova led 5-2 in the first set before 2016 Australian Open champion Kerber began a comeback that saw her win the opening set in a tiebreaker. But Pavlychenkova took the second in a tiebreaker and then broke serve immediately on the way to a 4—0 lead in the third.
Pavlyuchenkova, who took out No. 2 Karolina Pliskova in the third round, will next play Garbiñe Muguruza, who beat 9th-seeded Kiki Bertens 6-3, 6-3.
Kerber was the last former Australian titlist left in the draw.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fights back to take the second set 7-6(4) against Angelique Kerber.
Nick Kyrgios was seen sporting a Kobe Bryant No. 8 jersey as he walked out to face Rafael Nadal as Coco Gauff had Bryant's numbers 8 and 24, along with the inscription 'Mamba Mentality'.
2nd Set Nadal 3-6 Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios takes the second set 6-3 to draw level. The Australian's big serves were on full display and so was his flair.
After Rafael Nadal had held serve at love.
Nadal won the 1st set 6-3 vs Kyrgios
Rising to the occasion.@NickKyrgios levels this fourth round battle with Nadal, taking the second set 6-3 in 46 minutes after dropping the first by the same scoreline.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2020
Will the 23rd seed cause a massive upset tonight? #AO2020 | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/EavQx6WnWZ
Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios (Photo credit: Reuters and News18)
"I don't really dislike him. I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay," he said. "I'm super-excited honestly. Playing one of the greatest tennis players on centre court at your own Slam, it's pretty damn cool." Either Nadal or Kyrgios will go into a quarter-final against Gael Monfils or Dominic Thiem, the Austrian fifth seed.
Stan Wawrinka battled past Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev in five sets to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6(2) 6-2 victory on Monday. Medvedev came into the contest having won both their career meetings at Grand Slams in four sets but the 2014 Australian Open champion took the opening set with a double break of the Russian's serve. Medvedev, who lost to Rafa Nadal in five sets in last year's U.S. Open final, levelled the contest by breaking Wawrinka twice in the second and nosed ahead in the match with a break in the seventh game of the third. But Wawrinka refused to yield and took the fourth set tiebreaker comfortably before breaking Medvedev twice in the fifth.
Anett Kontaveit fought off a spirited challenge from Polish teenager Iga Swiatek to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-7(4) 7-5 7-5 victory in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday. The Estonian 28th seed saved 12 breakpoints in a see-saw contest on Melbourne Arena as she battled back from a set down to book a last-eight meeting with twice Grand Slam champion Simona Halep. Halep had to be at her counter-punching best to fight off another determined second-set comeback bid from Elise Mertens as the Romanian world number three advanced to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Halep, a beaten finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago, moved on with a 6-4 6-4 victory.
Garbine Muguruza powered into the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-3 demolition of ninth-seed Kiki Bertens in just 68 minutes on Monday. Muguruza, a former French Open and Wimbledon champion, was unseeded at Melbourne Park and has proved a dangerous floater in the draw, having also thrashed fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-2 in the previous round. Fifth seed Dominic Thiem kept his flawless record against Gael Monfils intact with a trouble-free 6-2 6-4 6-4 victory on Monday to reach his maiden Australian Open quarter-final. Thiem, twice a French Open finalist, came into the fourth-round clash against the 10th seed having won all five of the matches they have previously played and did not face a single breakpoint against the Frenchman on the Rod Laver Arena.
Order of play at the Australian Open on Monday:
Margaret Court Arena
Angelique Kerber (GER -17) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS -30)
Andrey Rublev (RUS -17) v Alexander Zverev (GER -7)
26 Feb, 2020 | Australia in South Africa AUS vs SA 193/520.0 overs 96/1015.3 oversAustralia beat South Africa by 97 runs
26 Feb, 2020 | West Indies in Sri Lanka SL vs WI 345/850.0 overs 184/1039.1 oversSri Lanka beat West Indies by 161 runs
23 Feb, 2020 | Australia in South Africa SA vs AUS 158/420.0 overs 146/620.0 oversSouth Africa beat Australia by 12 runs
22 Feb, 2020 | West Indies in Sri Lanka WI vs SL 289/750.0 overs 290/949.1 oversSri Lanka beat West Indies by 1 wicket
22 - 25 Feb, 2020 | Zimbabwe in Bangladesh ZIM vs BAN 265/10106.3 overs 560/6154.0 oversBangladesh beat Zimbabwe by an innings and 106 runs