Tennis star Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the London Olympics on Thursday due to injury.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Australian Open: Nadal, Wozniacki to play 4th-round matches
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Spain's Rafael Nadal signs autographs after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Australian Open: Nadal, Wozniacki to play 4th-round matches
Spain's Rafael Nadal signs autographs after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
<p>A theme of <em>will</em> echoed through the first week of the 2018 Australian Open. We’ve have <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2018/01/16/roger-federer-will-ferrell-australian-open-interview-video" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Will Ferrell" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Will Ferrell</a>. We’ve had <a href="http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/australian-open/nick-kyrgios-lights-up-rod-laver-arena-with-cheeky-jab-at-will-smith/news-story/336529f06f5597098e9017ed02292086" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Will Smith" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Will Smith</a>. </p><p>Nick Kyrgios has shown will, not always in evidence, offering maturity to match his shotmaking. Top seed Simona Halep and Lauren Davis each showed an abundance of will, two undersized athletes battling on Saturday to 15-13 in the third set, an early candidate for match of the year. For two days, players showed will simply not to wilt, enduring on-court temperatures fit for Ray Bradbury stories.</p><p>Plenty of will remains for Week Two. Will Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reprise their final? Will Caroline Wozniacki win her first major? Will Novak Djokovic find his mojo and perhaps even a seventh title? We’ll see. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.</p><p>Herewith your Midterm Grades from Melbourne:</p><h3><strong>A</strong></h3><h3><strong>The Favorites</strong></h3><p>For some it&#39;s been easy (Nadal and Federer, the top two men’s seeds.) For some it&#39;s been hard (Halep and Wozniacki, the top two women’s seeds–each of whom has been down match point.) For some, the jury remains sequestered (Novak Djokovic.) But the faves remain.</p><h3><strong>Angelique Kerber</strong></h3><p>It’s as if 2017 never happened. The winner in 2016 makes quick work of Maria Sharapova and suddenly looks like a worldbeater again.</p><h3><strong>Nick Kyrgios</strong></h3><p>We all mature at our own pace. Kyrgios defies convention—note that as we wrote this, he was still in the doubles draw. But he also thumbs his nose at distraction. Through three rounds, he’s playing the kind of measured and drama-free tennis that becomes champions.</p><h3><strong>Madison Keys</strong></h3><p>Overall, a brutal first week for the Americans. But Keys has unlocked all doors. Six sets played; six sets won.</p><h3><strong>Little-known Americans</strong></h3><p>If you had Tennys Sandgren in your “Last American Standing” pool, congrats. And how about lucky loser Bernarda Pera reaching the middle weekend?</p><h3><strong>Sam Groth</strong></h3><p>Final tip of the backwards cap for one of tennis’ good blokes, playing in his final tournament.</p><h3><strong>Hyeon Chung</strong></h3><p>Dance hall days, indeed. Young Korean takes out Sascha Zverev to reach round four.</p><h3>Simona Halep vs. Lauren Davis</h3><p>What a battle. As mentioned above, an early candidate for match of the year.</p><h3><strong>B</strong></h3><h3><strong>Denis Shapovalov</strong></h3><p>The future quickly is morphing into the present. Watch this kid—and at 18-years old, he remains a kid—play once and you’ll be hooked. But he’ll be stung by his failure to close out Tsonga up 5-2 in the fifth set.</p><h3><strong>Jana Fett</strong></h3><p>Croatian qualifier up 5-1 in the third set against Caroline Wozniacki, a player picked by many to win the event. That ought to ply Fett with confidence. She then loses the next six games. That ought to strip away aforementioned confidence.</p><h3><strong>Belinda Bencic</strong></h3><p>You outplay the great Venus Williams. You then get outplayed by Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum in your next match. Ah, tennis.</p><h3><strong>The pink-and-black Nike outfit</strong></h3><p><a href="http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/like-a-liquorice-allsorts-threw-up-nikes-australian-open-uniform-cops-a-serve-20180115-h0is8z" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Judy Murray is right" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Judy Murray is right</a>. They look like licorice pastels.</p><h3><strong>Ivo Karlovic</strong></h3><p>Two straight matches of more than 50 aces for the oldest player in the draw. He wins one match 12-10 in the fifth, and then loses to Andy Seppi 9-7 in the fifth.</p><h3><strong>Stan Wawrinka</strong></h3><p>Good for him for playing till the end, but the former champ clearly came back too soon from injury.</p><h3><strong>C</strong></h3><h3><strong>The Australian Open app and website</strong></h3><p>At this point, we’re piling on. But <a href="https://deadspin.com/the-australian-open-app-stinks-and-this-is-probably-why-1822116974" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this is simply embarrassing" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this is simply embarrassing</a>. Especially for such an event that is otherwise so buttoned-up. A terrible, terrible unforced error for a global sporting event.</p><h3><strong>Sloane Stephens</strong></h3><p>Still looking for her first match win since the U.S. Open. 0-8 since.</p><h3><strong>Garbine Muguruza</strong></h3><p>You’re in the prime of your career. You travel with a trainer. The field is wide open…. You cannot lose in the second round to a player barely in the top 100. When everything is going great, Mugu is a worldbeater. When anything goes remotely sideways, she follows suit.</p><h3><strong>Jack Sock</strong></h3><p>Burst into the top in the fall. Lackluster start to the year includes a first round loss in Melbourne.</p><h3><strong>The heat policy</strong></h3><p>Ice baths and ice vests and “players are encouraged to hydrate” are insufficient when on-courts temperatures hit 156 Fahrenheit. (That’s not a typo.)</p>
Keys, Kerber and Kyrgios Lead 2018 Australian Open Midterm Grades

A theme of will echoed through the first week of the 2018 Australian Open. We’ve have Will Ferrell. We’ve had Will Smith.

Nick Kyrgios has shown will, not always in evidence, offering maturity to match his shotmaking. Top seed Simona Halep and Lauren Davis each showed an abundance of will, two undersized athletes battling on Saturday to 15-13 in the third set, an early candidate for match of the year. For two days, players showed will simply not to wilt, enduring on-court temperatures fit for Ray Bradbury stories.

Plenty of will remains for Week Two. Will Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reprise their final? Will Caroline Wozniacki win her first major? Will Novak Djokovic find his mojo and perhaps even a seventh title? We’ll see. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Herewith your Midterm Grades from Melbourne:

A

The Favorites

For some it's been easy (Nadal and Federer, the top two men’s seeds.) For some it's been hard (Halep and Wozniacki, the top two women’s seeds–each of whom has been down match point.) For some, the jury remains sequestered (Novak Djokovic.) But the faves remain.

Angelique Kerber

It’s as if 2017 never happened. The winner in 2016 makes quick work of Maria Sharapova and suddenly looks like a worldbeater again.

Nick Kyrgios

We all mature at our own pace. Kyrgios defies convention—note that as we wrote this, he was still in the doubles draw. But he also thumbs his nose at distraction. Through three rounds, he’s playing the kind of measured and drama-free tennis that becomes champions.

Madison Keys

Overall, a brutal first week for the Americans. But Keys has unlocked all doors. Six sets played; six sets won.

Little-known Americans

If you had Tennys Sandgren in your “Last American Standing” pool, congrats. And how about lucky loser Bernarda Pera reaching the middle weekend?

Sam Groth

Final tip of the backwards cap for one of tennis’ good blokes, playing in his final tournament.

Hyeon Chung

Dance hall days, indeed. Young Korean takes out Sascha Zverev to reach round four.

Simona Halep vs. Lauren Davis

What a battle. As mentioned above, an early candidate for match of the year.

B

Denis Shapovalov

The future quickly is morphing into the present. Watch this kid—and at 18-years old, he remains a kid—play once and you’ll be hooked. But he’ll be stung by his failure to close out Tsonga up 5-2 in the fifth set.

Jana Fett

Croatian qualifier up 5-1 in the third set against Caroline Wozniacki, a player picked by many to win the event. That ought to ply Fett with confidence. She then loses the next six games. That ought to strip away aforementioned confidence.

Belinda Bencic

You outplay the great Venus Williams. You then get outplayed by Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum in your next match. Ah, tennis.

The pink-and-black Nike outfit

Judy Murray is right. They look like licorice pastels.

Ivo Karlovic

Two straight matches of more than 50 aces for the oldest player in the draw. He wins one match 12-10 in the fifth, and then loses to Andy Seppi 9-7 in the fifth.

Stan Wawrinka

Good for him for playing till the end, but the former champ clearly came back too soon from injury.

C

The Australian Open app and website

At this point, we’re piling on. But this is simply embarrassing. Especially for such an event that is otherwise so buttoned-up. A terrible, terrible unforced error for a global sporting event.

Sloane Stephens

Still looking for her first match win since the U.S. Open. 0-8 since.

Garbine Muguruza

You’re in the prime of your career. You travel with a trainer. The field is wide open…. You cannot lose in the second round to a player barely in the top 100. When everything is going great, Mugu is a worldbeater. When anything goes remotely sideways, she follows suit.

Jack Sock

Burst into the top in the fall. Lackluster start to the year includes a first round loss in Melbourne.

The heat policy

Ice baths and ice vests and “players are encouraged to hydrate” are insufficient when on-courts temperatures hit 156 Fahrenheit. (That’s not a typo.)

Tennis - Australian Open - Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 19, 2018. Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal signs autographs after winning his match against Bosnia and Herzegovina&#39;s Damir Dzumhur. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia
Tennis - Australian Open - Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 19, 2018. Spain's Rafael Nadal signs autographs after winning his match against Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
All times GMT. Rod Laver Arena 00:00: (32) Anett Kontaveit (Est) v Carla Suarez Navarro (Spa), (19) Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) v (2) Caroline Wozniacki (Den), (1) Rafael Nadal (Spa) v (24) Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (Arg) Not before 08:00: (3) Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) v (17) Nick Kyrgios (Aus), Denisa Allertova (Cze) v (4) Elina Svitolina (Ukr) Hisense Arena 00:30: (6) Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) v Jeremy Chardy (Fra) & Fabrice Martin (Fra), Pablo Andujar (Spa) & Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spa) v Samuel Groth (Aus) & Lleyton Hewitt (Aus), Kyle Edmund (Gbr) v Andreas Seppi (Ita), Monique Adamczak (Aus) & Matthew Ebden (Aus) v Demi Schuurs (Ned) & Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned) Margaret Court Arena 00:00: Nadiia Kichenok (Ukr) & Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) v (10) Irina-Camelia Begu (Rom) & Monica Niculescu (Rom), (10) Pablo Carreno-Busta (Spa) v (6) Marin Cilic (Cro), Petra Martic (Cro) v Elise Mertens (Bel), Ellen Perez (Aus) & Andrew Whittington (Aus) v (5) Timea Babos (Hun) & Rohan Bopanna (Ind) Beyond the Baseline | Read Charlie Eccleshare&#39;s three-part series on the unseen side of top-level tennis Show Court 2 00:00: (1) Latisha Chan (Tpe) & Jamie Murray (Gbr) v Andreja Klepac (Slo) & Rajeev Ram (USA), (13) Nicole Melichar (USA) & Kveta Peschke (Cze) v Jennifer Brady (USA) & Vania King (USA), (12) Raquel Atawo (USA) & Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger) v (8) Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) & Shuai Peng (Chn), Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spa) & Marc Lopez (Spa) v (2) Casey Dellacqua (Aus) & John Peers (Aus) Show Court 3 00:30: Yi Fan Xu (Chn) & Marcus Daniell (Nzl) v (3) Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) & Bruno Soares (Bra), (15) Marcin Matkowski (Pol) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) v Radu Albot (Mol) & Hyeon Chung (Kor), Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) & Oliver Marach (Aut) v Nadiia Kichenok (Ukr) & Marcel Granollers (Spa), Zhaoxuan Yang (Chn) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) v (7) Hao-Ching Chan (Tpe) & Michael Venus (Nzl)
Australian Open 2018: Order of play for Sunday, including Kyle Edmund and Grigor Dimitrov
All times GMT. Rod Laver Arena 00:00: (32) Anett Kontaveit (Est) v Carla Suarez Navarro (Spa), (19) Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) v (2) Caroline Wozniacki (Den), (1) Rafael Nadal (Spa) v (24) Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (Arg) Not before 08:00: (3) Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) v (17) Nick Kyrgios (Aus), Denisa Allertova (Cze) v (4) Elina Svitolina (Ukr) Hisense Arena 00:30: (6) Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) v Jeremy Chardy (Fra) & Fabrice Martin (Fra), Pablo Andujar (Spa) & Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spa) v Samuel Groth (Aus) & Lleyton Hewitt (Aus), Kyle Edmund (Gbr) v Andreas Seppi (Ita), Monique Adamczak (Aus) & Matthew Ebden (Aus) v Demi Schuurs (Ned) & Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned) Margaret Court Arena 00:00: Nadiia Kichenok (Ukr) & Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) v (10) Irina-Camelia Begu (Rom) & Monica Niculescu (Rom), (10) Pablo Carreno-Busta (Spa) v (6) Marin Cilic (Cro), Petra Martic (Cro) v Elise Mertens (Bel), Ellen Perez (Aus) & Andrew Whittington (Aus) v (5) Timea Babos (Hun) & Rohan Bopanna (Ind) Beyond the Baseline | Read Charlie Eccleshare's three-part series on the unseen side of top-level tennis Show Court 2 00:00: (1) Latisha Chan (Tpe) & Jamie Murray (Gbr) v Andreja Klepac (Slo) & Rajeev Ram (USA), (13) Nicole Melichar (USA) & Kveta Peschke (Cze) v Jennifer Brady (USA) & Vania King (USA), (12) Raquel Atawo (USA) & Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger) v (8) Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) & Shuai Peng (Chn), Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spa) & Marc Lopez (Spa) v (2) Casey Dellacqua (Aus) & John Peers (Aus) Show Court 3 00:30: Yi Fan Xu (Chn) & Marcus Daniell (Nzl) v (3) Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) & Bruno Soares (Bra), (15) Marcin Matkowski (Pol) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) v Radu Albot (Mol) & Hyeon Chung (Kor), Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) & Oliver Marach (Aut) v Nadiia Kichenok (Ukr) & Marcel Granollers (Spa), Zhaoxuan Yang (Chn) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) v (7) Hao-Ching Chan (Tpe) & Michael Venus (Nzl)
Roger Federer continued his dominance over Richard Gasquet to march into the fourth round of the Australian Open. The defending champion went into the encounter with a 16-2 record against his French foe and having won the last eight matches, and there was never any real doubt that he would make it nine in a row. There were flashes of brilliance from Gasquet, particularly on his famed single-handed backhand, but he could not get a hold on the Federer serve and the Swiss emerged a 6-2 7-5 6-4 winner. Gasquet did not create his first break point until the 27th game of the match and, although he gave himself hope by getting back on serve, Federer swiftly crushed any thoughts of a comeback. Federer was too strong for Richard Gasquet on Saturday Credit: AFP The second seed said: &quot;I was able to maybe stay a little bit more on the offensive, protecting my serve a little bit better. The match was close and the end could have gone to a tie-break and then you never know. Richard played well and me too, I&#39;m just happy to win tonight.&quot; Only Federer, who next plays unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, and world number one Rafael Nadal have reached the fourth round without dropping a set. 12:06PM Game, set and match! Federer defeats Gasquet 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 Federer wants this done right here, punching away a volley for 0-30 and looking completely zoned in after a mixed couple of games. Gasquet though is not in the mood to fold, and he levels up at 30-30 with a crosscourt forehand winner. The Frenchman then has a point for 5-5 at 40-30, but Federer saves the game point with a heavy-topspin forehand. Federer then moves to match point with a trademark smash following an angled backhand crosscourt. Can Gasquet keep this match alive? Yes he can! A beautiful backhand winner up the line has us back at deuce. Gasquet then moves up to game point again, but Federer saves it with a sensational inside-in forehand return winner. Federer then earns a second match point with a backhand winner up the line of his own. And this time he takes it! Gasquet does well to put a volley into the corner, but Federer chases it down and flicks away another backhand winner up the line. After 1hr 59 min, Federer is through to the fourth round. .@RogerFederer is through to the 4R where he will face Marton #Fucsovics! ������ #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/d5SBpkoTuU— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:57AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 5-4 Gasquet* (*next server) Back to business for Federer as he holds to love. Gasquet will serve to stay in the match. 11:55AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 4-4 Gasquet (*next server) Federer has snapped back to life this game, crunching a deep forehand return for 30-30. But Fed then misses his next two returns, and Gasquet holds. Three games in a row for the Frenchman. 11:51AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 4-3 Gasquet* (*next server) - Gasquet breaks back Well what have we here? Federer wastes a couple of game points, and all of a sudden Gasquet is up break point at advantage after nailing a beautiful backhand winner up the line. It&#39;s his first break point of the match. What does Federer do in response? Serves an ace down the T of course. But Fed then sprays a forehand well wide, and Gasquet has a second break point chance. And this time he takes it, as Federer nets a backhand! Federer&#39;s level has just dropped a bit in the last few minutes. He looks a bit frustrated at some of the flashy shots his opponent is producing. Federer is broken for only the second time this tournament. Lovely stuff from Richard Gasquet ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/ax08zpy49j— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 20, 2018 11:42AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 4-2 Gasquet (*next server) A brilliant Gasquet backhand half-volley is the highlight of a solid hold to 15. 11:39AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 4-1 Gasquet* (*next server) How&#39;s this for a stat? Federer has got 85 per cent of his first serves in. Unbelievable rhythm from the 19-time grand slam champion. He&#39;s taken to deuce for the first time in the match here, but hits a brilliant inside-in forehand winner to complete the hold. Federer is just two games away from the fourth round. 11:35AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 3-1 Gasquet (*next server) Gasquet stops the run of games against him at five, sealing a hold to 15 with an ace down the T. 11:31AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 3-0 Gasquet* (*next server) A couple of Federer errors let Gasquet into the game at 30-30, but a huge serve and a clincial smash seal another hold. Five straight games for Federer. 11:28AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 2-0 Gasquet (*next server) - Federer breaks A double fault hands Federer what feels like two virtual match points at 15-40. Fed takes the first one with a clever drop shot. The fourth round is in sight for the reigning Australian Open champion. 11:24AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) You&#39;d expect Federer to put his foot on the gas from here and go haring after the finish line, even though Gasquet is battling manfully. Fed holds to 15 to kick off the third set. 11:19AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5 Gasquet (*next server) - Game and second set Federer Danger signs for Gasquet here. A brilliant forehand return winner on the stretch takes Federer to within two points of the first set at 15-30. And he gets to within one point after a screaming backhand pass down the line takes Federer to 30-40. Gasquet sprays a backhand long, and it&#39;s second set Federer! In typical style, Federer steps it up when he needs to, and establishes a two-set lead with his first break point of the set. It was these kinds of gems that earned @RogerFederer the second set �� He leads 6-2 7-5.#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/VshCRXlDj4— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:13AM Federer 6-2, 6-5 Gasquet* (*next server) First &quot;come on!&quot; of the day from Federer, after he flicks away another sensational backhand winner crosscourt for 40-0. He eventually holds to 30, and Gasquet will serve to stay in the set for a second time. The single-handed backhand is a work of art... ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/9I30il8m3c— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:10AM Federer* 6-2, 5-5 Gasquet (*next server) Impressive serving again from Gasquet, who&#39;s playing really well today. He holds to 15, and we remain on serve in the first set. 11:07AM Federer 6-2, 5-4 Gasquet* (*next server) Federer is annoyed with himself when he misses a backhand for 30-15, so he quickly corrects things with a second serve ace. Gasquet then sends a backhand wide - game Federer. Gasquet will serve to stay in the second set. 11:05AM Federer* 6-2, 4-4 Gasquet (*next server) Gasquet does well to shrug that disappointment aside and hold to 30. It gets a little tense after Federer reels him back from 40-0 to 40-30, but a forehand winner up the line wraps up the game. No break points for either player this set. .@RogerFederer doing Roger Federer things��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/faK8vLYS4B— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:01AM Federer 6-2, 4-3 Gasquet* (*next server) That&#39;s arguably the backhand of the match, and it comes from Gasquet. He hits it from the forehand corner so it&#39;s technically an inside-out forehand, and it flies beyond Federer for 30-30. There&#39;s then a crazy moment as Gasquet challenges a Federer serve but is told Hawk-eye is not working. Gasquet is furious. The serve is called as an ace, and after Gasquet misses his return on the next point, it&#39;s game Federer. That&#39;s tough on the Frenchman - the serve may well have been in, but it&#39;s maddening not knowing. .@RichardGasquet1 starting to find his groove... ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/DUkxbJZi3a— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:57AM Federer* 6-2, 3-3 Gasquet (*next server) Excellent resolve from Gasquet. He&#39;s down 15-30 but lands two excellent serves and then knifes away a volley to hold to 30. 10:52AM Federer 6-2, 3-2 Gasquet* (*next server) No let up from Federer. He misses a couple of forehands in the game, but clever variety on the serve helps him to a hold to 30 - secured with an elegant drop volley. 10:49AM Federer* 6-2, 2-2 Gasquet (*next server) Credit Gasquet, he&#39;s continuing to chip away at this. An ace down the T secures a hold to 15. 10:45AM Federer 6-2, 2-1 Gasquet* (*next server) A double fault and a missed Federer volley give Gasquet a glimmer of a break at 30-30. But sure enough Fed then slams the door shut with a masterful drop shot and a service winner. Hard to see what Gasquet can do to stem the tide here - he just doesn&#39;t have the weapons to really hurt Federer. Credit: Getty Images 10:41AM Federer* 6-2, 1-1 Gasquet (*next server) A few charitable errors from Federer help Gasquet to a hold to 15. 10:38AM Federer 6-2, 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) By winning that set, Federer has now won the last 20 sets that these two have played against each other. And a hold to 30 here maintains Fed&#39;s momentum at the start of the second. 10:35AM Federer* 6-2 Gasquet (*next server) - Game and first set Federer Wow, Federer storms to 0-30 with a gorgeous backhand winner up the line. The low camera at Melbourne Park caught Federer&#39;s perfect technique beautifully. Federer then hits a replica backhand winner on the next point to open up three set points at 0-40. Federer seems to be relishing the challenge of proving that his backhand is the fairest of them all. Gasquet saves the first set point, but he double faults on the second to gift his opponent the first set. Federer a set to the good after 27 minutes. Vintage @RogerFederer emerges from the single-handed backhand-off ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/IZzP3ksjqn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:30AM Federer 5-2 Gasquet* (*next server) Lovely stuff again from both men this game, with Gasquet more than playing his part. He produces arguably the shot of the match so far with a no-look flicked forehand pass after chasing down a drop volley. Federer continues to motor on though, and he holds with an ace out wide. Gasquet will serve to keep this entertaining first set alive. .@RichardGasquet1 outwits @RogerFederer with a cleverly disguised winner ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/VbC2QfW7gK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:27AM Federer* 4-2 Gasquet (*next server) Excellent service game from Gasquet as he holds to 15 with a service winner. Gasquet has got 84 per cent of his first serves in so far. 10:22AM Federer 4-1 Gasquet* (*next server) Gasquet is actually playing really well here, and he produces a sumptuous backhand crosscourt pass for 15-30. Federer though has just been a little too good, reeling off the next three points to hold to 30. Fun match so far. Credit: Switzerland&#39;s Roger Federer hits a return against France&#39;s Richard Gasquet during their men&#39;s singles third round match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018 10:19AM Federer* 3-1 Gasquet (*next server) - Federer breaks Gasquet produces the first breathtaking single-handed backhand of the match, finding a crazily acute angle that spins so far wide that Federer is forced to hit his next shot outside of the tramlines. It makes the score 15-15, and though Gasquet then moves to 30-15, Federer comes up with a brilliant backhand of his own followed by a forehand winner to move up to 30-40 and break point. Gasquet saves it with the lesser-spotted backhand drive volley, but Federer forces another one moments later and takes this one with an inside-in forehand return winner. Genius. Class ��@RogerFederer with an early break in the first set. Leads 3-1.#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/aeSfrj7Bh2— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:12AM Federer 2-1 Gasquet* (*next server) A couple more errors from Federer this game, but he does enough to hold to 30. Gasquet trying to be positive with his returns when he can get a racket to the ball. 10:09AM Federer* 1-1 Gasquet (*next server) A few loose shots from Federer help Gasquet to a love hold of his own. 10:08AM Federer 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) Federer kicks things off with a love hold. Expect a few more of these today. The game lasted just over a minute. 10:05AM Ready? Play Federer serving first. 10:02AM Players are out They&#39;re knocking up, and this exhibition match will be underway soon. It&#39;s a Super Saturday special on @RodLaverArena!@RogerFederer and @RichardGasquet1 set to clash in the battle of the beautiful backhands! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/oTCzEpY9wB— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 9:48AM Next up Angelique Kerber has just thumped Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in 64 minutes. Roger Federer and Richard Gasquet are next on the Rod Laver Arena. 7:19AM Preamble Morning everyone, Welcome to the battle of the single-handed backhands, as 19-time grand slam champion Roger Federer takes on the 29th seed and former world No 7 Richard Gasquet. It&#39;s difficult to believe it now but when Gasquet stormed onto the ATP Tour as a teenager more than a decade ago, there was widespread belief that he was Federer&#39;s heir apparent. The beautiful shotmaking - especially that picture-book single-handed backhand - marked Gasquet out as a special talent, and he actually beat Federer the first time they met, in a three-set thriller in Monte Carlo. Gasquet was just 18 years old at the time, and had the look of a star in the making. Since then though, Gasquet has never quite kicked on, failing to reach a grand slam final and developing a reputation as a bit of a choker. His record against Federer has headed similarly south, with the Frenchman winning just one of the subsequent 17 meetings between the two since that Monte Carlo success. The problem Gasquet has when he plays Federer is that while they have similar styles, Federer just does everything that bit better. It&#39;s hard to really see where Gasquet can hurt his opponent today, especially given Federer has won the last 19 sets the two have played against one another. Richard Gasquet is known for his elegant single-handed backhand Credit: AP At the very least though, we should be in for a enjoyable exhibition of the dying art of single-handed backhands. After his second-round win on Thursday against Jan-Lennard Struff, Federer himself said he was looking forward to exchanging backhands with the similarly elegant Gasquet. &quot;I love playing against one-handed guys because we need to keep it alive for as long as possible,&quot; Federer said. &quot;I don&#39;t think I&#39;ll be teaching my kids to play like that.&quot; So enjoy these beautiful strokes while you can seems to be the message. Hopefully we&#39;ll be in for an entertaining match, but I&#39;m expecting Federer to come through easily in straight sets.
Roger Federer defeats Richard Gasquet to win the Australian Open battle of the backhands
Roger Federer continued his dominance over Richard Gasquet to march into the fourth round of the Australian Open. The defending champion went into the encounter with a 16-2 record against his French foe and having won the last eight matches, and there was never any real doubt that he would make it nine in a row. There were flashes of brilliance from Gasquet, particularly on his famed single-handed backhand, but he could not get a hold on the Federer serve and the Swiss emerged a 6-2 7-5 6-4 winner. Gasquet did not create his first break point until the 27th game of the match and, although he gave himself hope by getting back on serve, Federer swiftly crushed any thoughts of a comeback. Federer was too strong for Richard Gasquet on Saturday Credit: AFP The second seed said: "I was able to maybe stay a little bit more on the offensive, protecting my serve a little bit better. The match was close and the end could have gone to a tie-break and then you never know. Richard played well and me too, I'm just happy to win tonight." Only Federer, who next plays unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, and world number one Rafael Nadal have reached the fourth round without dropping a set. 12:06PM Game, set and match! Federer defeats Gasquet 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 Federer wants this done right here, punching away a volley for 0-30 and looking completely zoned in after a mixed couple of games. Gasquet though is not in the mood to fold, and he levels up at 30-30 with a crosscourt forehand winner. The Frenchman then has a point for 5-5 at 40-30, but Federer saves the game point with a heavy-topspin forehand. Federer then moves to match point with a trademark smash following an angled backhand crosscourt. Can Gasquet keep this match alive? Yes he can! A beautiful backhand winner up the line has us back at deuce. Gasquet then moves up to game point again, but Federer saves it with a sensational inside-in forehand return winner. Federer then earns a second match point with a backhand winner up the line of his own. And this time he takes it! Gasquet does well to put a volley into the corner, but Federer chases it down and flicks away another backhand winner up the line. After 1hr 59 min, Federer is through to the fourth round. .@RogerFederer is through to the 4R where he will face Marton #Fucsovics! ������ #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/d5SBpkoTuU— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:57AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 5-4 Gasquet* (*next server) Back to business for Federer as he holds to love. Gasquet will serve to stay in the match. 11:55AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 4-4 Gasquet (*next server) Federer has snapped back to life this game, crunching a deep forehand return for 30-30. But Fed then misses his next two returns, and Gasquet holds. Three games in a row for the Frenchman. 11:51AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 4-3 Gasquet* (*next server) - Gasquet breaks back Well what have we here? Federer wastes a couple of game points, and all of a sudden Gasquet is up break point at advantage after nailing a beautiful backhand winner up the line. It's his first break point of the match. What does Federer do in response? Serves an ace down the T of course. But Fed then sprays a forehand well wide, and Gasquet has a second break point chance. And this time he takes it, as Federer nets a backhand! Federer's level has just dropped a bit in the last few minutes. He looks a bit frustrated at some of the flashy shots his opponent is producing. Federer is broken for only the second time this tournament. Lovely stuff from Richard Gasquet ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/ax08zpy49j— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 20, 2018 11:42AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 4-2 Gasquet (*next server) A brilliant Gasquet backhand half-volley is the highlight of a solid hold to 15. 11:39AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 4-1 Gasquet* (*next server) How's this for a stat? Federer has got 85 per cent of his first serves in. Unbelievable rhythm from the 19-time grand slam champion. He's taken to deuce for the first time in the match here, but hits a brilliant inside-in forehand winner to complete the hold. Federer is just two games away from the fourth round. 11:35AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 3-1 Gasquet (*next server) Gasquet stops the run of games against him at five, sealing a hold to 15 with an ace down the T. 11:31AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 3-0 Gasquet* (*next server) A couple of Federer errors let Gasquet into the game at 30-30, but a huge serve and a clincial smash seal another hold. Five straight games for Federer. 11:28AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5, 2-0 Gasquet (*next server) - Federer breaks A double fault hands Federer what feels like two virtual match points at 15-40. Fed takes the first one with a clever drop shot. The fourth round is in sight for the reigning Australian Open champion. 11:24AM Federer 6-2, 7-5, 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) You'd expect Federer to put his foot on the gas from here and go haring after the finish line, even though Gasquet is battling manfully. Fed holds to 15 to kick off the third set. 11:19AM Federer* 6-2, 7-5 Gasquet (*next server) - Game and second set Federer Danger signs for Gasquet here. A brilliant forehand return winner on the stretch takes Federer to within two points of the first set at 15-30. And he gets to within one point after a screaming backhand pass down the line takes Federer to 30-40. Gasquet sprays a backhand long, and it's second set Federer! In typical style, Federer steps it up when he needs to, and establishes a two-set lead with his first break point of the set. It was these kinds of gems that earned @RogerFederer the second set �� He leads 6-2 7-5.#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/VshCRXlDj4— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:13AM Federer 6-2, 6-5 Gasquet* (*next server) First "come on!" of the day from Federer, after he flicks away another sensational backhand winner crosscourt for 40-0. He eventually holds to 30, and Gasquet will serve to stay in the set for a second time. The single-handed backhand is a work of art... ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/9I30il8m3c— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:10AM Federer* 6-2, 5-5 Gasquet (*next server) Impressive serving again from Gasquet, who's playing really well today. He holds to 15, and we remain on serve in the first set. 11:07AM Federer 6-2, 5-4 Gasquet* (*next server) Federer is annoyed with himself when he misses a backhand for 30-15, so he quickly corrects things with a second serve ace. Gasquet then sends a backhand wide - game Federer. Gasquet will serve to stay in the second set. 11:05AM Federer* 6-2, 4-4 Gasquet (*next server) Gasquet does well to shrug that disappointment aside and hold to 30. It gets a little tense after Federer reels him back from 40-0 to 40-30, but a forehand winner up the line wraps up the game. No break points for either player this set. .@RogerFederer doing Roger Federer things��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/faK8vLYS4B— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 11:01AM Federer 6-2, 4-3 Gasquet* (*next server) That's arguably the backhand of the match, and it comes from Gasquet. He hits it from the forehand corner so it's technically an inside-out forehand, and it flies beyond Federer for 30-30. There's then a crazy moment as Gasquet challenges a Federer serve but is told Hawk-eye is not working. Gasquet is furious. The serve is called as an ace, and after Gasquet misses his return on the next point, it's game Federer. That's tough on the Frenchman - the serve may well have been in, but it's maddening not knowing. .@RichardGasquet1 starting to find his groove... ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/DUkxbJZi3a— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:57AM Federer* 6-2, 3-3 Gasquet (*next server) Excellent resolve from Gasquet. He's down 15-30 but lands two excellent serves and then knifes away a volley to hold to 30. 10:52AM Federer 6-2, 3-2 Gasquet* (*next server) No let up from Federer. He misses a couple of forehands in the game, but clever variety on the serve helps him to a hold to 30 - secured with an elegant drop volley. 10:49AM Federer* 6-2, 2-2 Gasquet (*next server) Credit Gasquet, he's continuing to chip away at this. An ace down the T secures a hold to 15. 10:45AM Federer 6-2, 2-1 Gasquet* (*next server) A double fault and a missed Federer volley give Gasquet a glimmer of a break at 30-30. But sure enough Fed then slams the door shut with a masterful drop shot and a service winner. Hard to see what Gasquet can do to stem the tide here - he just doesn't have the weapons to really hurt Federer. Credit: Getty Images 10:41AM Federer* 6-2, 1-1 Gasquet (*next server) A few charitable errors from Federer help Gasquet to a hold to 15. 10:38AM Federer 6-2, 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) By winning that set, Federer has now won the last 20 sets that these two have played against each other. And a hold to 30 here maintains Fed's momentum at the start of the second. 10:35AM Federer* 6-2 Gasquet (*next server) - Game and first set Federer Wow, Federer storms to 0-30 with a gorgeous backhand winner up the line. The low camera at Melbourne Park caught Federer's perfect technique beautifully. Federer then hits a replica backhand winner on the next point to open up three set points at 0-40. Federer seems to be relishing the challenge of proving that his backhand is the fairest of them all. Gasquet saves the first set point, but he double faults on the second to gift his opponent the first set. Federer a set to the good after 27 minutes. Vintage @RogerFederer emerges from the single-handed backhand-off ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/IZzP3ksjqn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:30AM Federer 5-2 Gasquet* (*next server) Lovely stuff again from both men this game, with Gasquet more than playing his part. He produces arguably the shot of the match so far with a no-look flicked forehand pass after chasing down a drop volley. Federer continues to motor on though, and he holds with an ace out wide. Gasquet will serve to keep this entertaining first set alive. .@RichardGasquet1 outwits @RogerFederer with a cleverly disguised winner ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/VbC2QfW7gK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:27AM Federer* 4-2 Gasquet (*next server) Excellent service game from Gasquet as he holds to 15 with a service winner. Gasquet has got 84 per cent of his first serves in so far. 10:22AM Federer 4-1 Gasquet* (*next server) Gasquet is actually playing really well here, and he produces a sumptuous backhand crosscourt pass for 15-30. Federer though has just been a little too good, reeling off the next three points to hold to 30. Fun match so far. Credit: Switzerland's Roger Federer hits a return against France's Richard Gasquet during their men's singles third round match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018 10:19AM Federer* 3-1 Gasquet (*next server) - Federer breaks Gasquet produces the first breathtaking single-handed backhand of the match, finding a crazily acute angle that spins so far wide that Federer is forced to hit his next shot outside of the tramlines. It makes the score 15-15, and though Gasquet then moves to 30-15, Federer comes up with a brilliant backhand of his own followed by a forehand winner to move up to 30-40 and break point. Gasquet saves it with the lesser-spotted backhand drive volley, but Federer forces another one moments later and takes this one with an inside-in forehand return winner. Genius. Class ��@RogerFederer with an early break in the first set. Leads 3-1.#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/aeSfrj7Bh2— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 10:12AM Federer 2-1 Gasquet* (*next server) A couple more errors from Federer this game, but he does enough to hold to 30. Gasquet trying to be positive with his returns when he can get a racket to the ball. 10:09AM Federer* 1-1 Gasquet (*next server) A few loose shots from Federer help Gasquet to a love hold of his own. 10:08AM Federer 1-0 Gasquet* (*next server) Federer kicks things off with a love hold. Expect a few more of these today. The game lasted just over a minute. 10:05AM Ready? Play Federer serving first. 10:02AM Players are out They're knocking up, and this exhibition match will be underway soon. It's a Super Saturday special on @RodLaverArena!@RogerFederer and @RichardGasquet1 set to clash in the battle of the beautiful backhands! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/oTCzEpY9wB— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2018 9:48AM Next up Angelique Kerber has just thumped Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in 64 minutes. Roger Federer and Richard Gasquet are next on the Rod Laver Arena. 7:19AM Preamble Morning everyone, Welcome to the battle of the single-handed backhands, as 19-time grand slam champion Roger Federer takes on the 29th seed and former world No 7 Richard Gasquet. It's difficult to believe it now but when Gasquet stormed onto the ATP Tour as a teenager more than a decade ago, there was widespread belief that he was Federer's heir apparent. The beautiful shotmaking - especially that picture-book single-handed backhand - marked Gasquet out as a special talent, and he actually beat Federer the first time they met, in a three-set thriller in Monte Carlo. Gasquet was just 18 years old at the time, and had the look of a star in the making. Since then though, Gasquet has never quite kicked on, failing to reach a grand slam final and developing a reputation as a bit of a choker. His record against Federer has headed similarly south, with the Frenchman winning just one of the subsequent 17 meetings between the two since that Monte Carlo success. The problem Gasquet has when he plays Federer is that while they have similar styles, Federer just does everything that bit better. It's hard to really see where Gasquet can hurt his opponent today, especially given Federer has won the last 19 sets the two have played against one another. Richard Gasquet is known for his elegant single-handed backhand Credit: AP At the very least though, we should be in for a enjoyable exhibition of the dying art of single-handed backhands. After his second-round win on Thursday against Jan-Lennard Struff, Federer himself said he was looking forward to exchanging backhands with the similarly elegant Gasquet. "I love playing against one-handed guys because we need to keep it alive for as long as possible," Federer said. "I don't think I'll be teaching my kids to play like that." So enjoy these beautiful strokes while you can seems to be the message. Hopefully we'll be in for an entertaining match, but I'm expecting Federer to come through easily in straight sets.
World number one Rafael Nadal was in superb form on Monday, but knows he cannot underestimate Diego Schwartzman.
Nadal's best required against in-form Schwartzman
World number one Rafael Nadal was in superb form on Monday, but knows he cannot underestimate Diego Schwartzman.
Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Smith watches Kyrgios beat Tsonga, the Aussie kid's dream
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
Story of the Day - Nadal dominates Dzumhur to reach last 16
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
Story of the Day - Nadal dominates Dzumhur to reach last 16
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
Story of the Day - Nadal dominates Dzumhur to reach last 16
World number one Rafael Nadal cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-1 to waltz into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
On a day when temperatures exceeded 40 degrees for a second day in a row, the last thing Kyle Edmund would have wanted was a 5-set, near 4-hour match, but that’s what he got, and he came through it. Catherine Whitaker was the first person to speak to him afterwards, for Eurosport, and Simon Briggs sat watching him for the full duration. On the Australian Open day 5 Tennis Podcast they give the lowdown on what Edmund went through to reach the last 16, and what they make of his chances against Andreas Seppi. Later, the win scored by Nick Kyrgios over Jo Wilfried Tsonga is dissected by Whitaker and David Law, and they assess how the Australian public is taking to the man who sampled victory on Rod Laver Arena for the first time. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal was in ‘ravenous’ form. Whitaker reports what Kyrgios’ fourth round opponent Grigor Dimitrov was doing before taking to the court against Andrey Rublev, there’s discussion about Roger Federer’s quotes about the potential for a player union and a greater piece of Grand Slam revenues, and the WTA Finals moving to Shenzhen for ten years with double prize money is covered. The Australian Open will be live on Eurosport from midnight, with radio commentary available on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. The Tennis Podcast will be produced daily throughout the Australian Open, presented by Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport) and David Law (BBC 5 Live), in association with Telegraph Sport and Eurosport. How to listen: iPhones / iPads - https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fpo.st%2fTP_381Apple&t=1516506019&sig=2XVpah0Ru7._793ZluhDtw--~D Acast - http://po.st/TP_381 Download - http://po.st/TP_381Download
Tennis podcast: Kyle Edmund handles heat; Nick Kyrgios comes good; ravenous Rafael Nadal; Jelena Ostapenko out
On a day when temperatures exceeded 40 degrees for a second day in a row, the last thing Kyle Edmund would have wanted was a 5-set, near 4-hour match, but that’s what he got, and he came through it. Catherine Whitaker was the first person to speak to him afterwards, for Eurosport, and Simon Briggs sat watching him for the full duration. On the Australian Open day 5 Tennis Podcast they give the lowdown on what Edmund went through to reach the last 16, and what they make of his chances against Andreas Seppi. Later, the win scored by Nick Kyrgios over Jo Wilfried Tsonga is dissected by Whitaker and David Law, and they assess how the Australian public is taking to the man who sampled victory on Rod Laver Arena for the first time. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal was in ‘ravenous’ form. Whitaker reports what Kyrgios’ fourth round opponent Grigor Dimitrov was doing before taking to the court against Andrey Rublev, there’s discussion about Roger Federer’s quotes about the potential for a player union and a greater piece of Grand Slam revenues, and the WTA Finals moving to Shenzhen for ten years with double prize money is covered. The Australian Open will be live on Eurosport from midnight, with radio commentary available on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. The Tennis Podcast will be produced daily throughout the Australian Open, presented by Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport) and David Law (BBC 5 Live), in association with Telegraph Sport and Eurosport. How to listen: iPhones / iPads - http://po.st/TP_381Apple Acast - http://po.st/TP_381 Download - http://po.st/TP_381Download
There were impressive victories for Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Friday.
Australian Open 2018: Rafael Nadal sails through as Kyrgios books Dimitrov showdown
There were impressive victories for Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Friday.
There were impressive victories for Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Friday.
Rafa sails through, Kyrgios books Dimitrov showdown
There were impressive victories for Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Friday.
Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal hits a forehand return to Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
The Latest: Cilic returns to 4th round at Australian Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal hits a forehand return to Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He's up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We're back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We're level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it's level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we're into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga's backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent's good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith's presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We're on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he's up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he's done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we're back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga's hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn't even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We'll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year's Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so "me against the world" in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie's take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men's tennis's more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga's in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I'm expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He&#39;s like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios&#39;s post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It&#39;s not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I&#39;d never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I&#39;ve always looked up to him - he&#39;s a great guy and a great champion. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he&#39;d hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I&#39;m just happy to get through. I&#39;ve got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I&#39;ll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He&#39;s a good mate of mine, I&#39;ll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga&#39;s practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He&#39;s an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it&#39;s bets of five sets. That favours him, he&#39;s a good friend of mine and I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that&#39;s because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He&#39;s done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I&#39;ve rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. &quot;That&#39;s one of the best wins of his career.&quot; [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It&#39;s match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga&#39;s net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga&#39;s lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We&#39;re into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. &quot;It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!&quot; #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it&#39;s Kyrgios&#39;s turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming &quot;how?&quot; at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It&#39;s initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner &quot;I&#39;ll do what I want. Why can&#39;t I talk to him?&quot; in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman&#39;s mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn&#39;t put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios&#39;s first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It&#39;s two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn&#39;t do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he&#39;s still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga&#39;s frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying &quot;you have to calm down, no good can come from this&quot;. Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can&#39;t get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios&#39;s favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He&#39;s raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner &quot;don&#39;t talk to me&quot;. .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it&#39;s set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we&#39;re back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We&#39;re into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He&#39;ll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that&#39;s 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent&#39;s serve this game, but it&#39;s a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn&#39;t do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it&#39;s allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga&#39;s service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent&#39;s serve. Six out of Tsonga&#39;s last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there&#39;s nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of &quot;come on&quot;. He&#39;s trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: &quot;Why the f*** did I play doubles?&quot; Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we&#39;re level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. &quot;So s*** man&quot;, Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful drop volley secure a third straight love game for the Frenchman, who has won three games in a row and 12 straight points. 9:21AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga breaks Great defence from Tsonga sees him return a smash and force Kyrgios into a missed volley for 0-30. Kyrgios then nets a forehand to give his opponent three break points at 0-40. Tsonga only needs one, seizing his chance with a beautiful backhand drop volley. The Frenchman has won 12 out of 15 points at the net today, which is a superb return. Tsonga takes charge in the second set. 9:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Three aces in the game for Tsonga helps him to a love hold. He&#39;s up to nine for the match (Kyrgios is at 10). Credit: AFP 9:14AM Kyrgios 7-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Still no lapse in concentration from Kyrgios. He holds to love here, and even experiments with an effective serve-volley play to wrap up the game. 9:12AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Chance for Kyrgios here, as Tsonga nets a backhand for 30-30. Tsonga does well though to claim the next two points - the first with only his second backhand winner of the match - and eke out a badly needed hold. 9:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios keeps his focus and edges his way in front in the second set with a hold to 15. In every singles match today, the player who has won the first set has gone on to win the match... Stats from a very even first set 9:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6 Tsonga (*next server)- Game and first set Kyrgios Double fault from Tsonga hands Kyrgios the first set! He takes the tie-break 7-5, and leads by a set to love after 46 minutes. What a brilliant set of tennis that was. There it is! ����@NickKyrgios takes the first against Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga 7-6(5)#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/50Rp7qt4bq— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Fist pump from Tsonga as he saves the set point brilliantly with an adroit drop volley. We&#39;re back on serve. 9:01AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-4 Tsonga (*next server) Service winner up the T takes Kyrgios to two set points. 9:00AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-4 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga shanks a forehand long, and Kyrgios has the mini-break! He has two points on his serve to take the first set. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga responds with an unreturnable serve down the T. We&#39;re level again. 8:59AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Kyrgios does the damage again. The pressure swings back to Tsonga. 8:58AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a backhand approach shot, and it&#39;s level at the change of ends. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) A missed Kyrgios return keeps us on serve. 8:57AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Big chance missed for Kyrgios, as he nets a very makeable forehand pass up the line. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Huge Kyrgios forehand edges him in front. 8:56AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga nets a forehand to level things up. 8:55AM First set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Forehand winner from Tsonga gets him the first point of the breaker. 8:55AM Kyrgios 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break The pressure is on Kyrgios at 15-15, but he responds brilliantly with a 119mph second service winner followed by a forehand winner and another service winner. Fittingly for such a close set, we&#39;re into a tie-break. 8:51AM Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga&#39;s backhand is unreliable, but the way he runs around it to hit inside-out and inside-in forehands is superb. He nails a couple this game, moving up to seven forehand winners (Kyrgios has just one) as he holds comfortably to 15. The Frenchman skips to the chair; Kyrgios ambles over, and will serve to stay in the set for a second time. 8:48AM Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) The Tsonga backhand has often been characteristically ropey today, but he hits a beauty up the line to get to within two points of the set at 15-30. Kyrgios responds with two aces, before a backhand that hits the top of the tape has us at deuce. A third ace gives Kyrgios another game point, but excellent length from Tsonga sees a backhand clip the line and kick up awkwardly. Kyrgios rages at about what he believes is his opponent&#39;s good fortune. He does well though to regather his focus and play two solid points to claim a much-needed hold. This is really top level tennis. Will Ferrell ✅ Will Smith ✅ Couple of big names in @Melbourne this week for some Hollywood tennis! #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/vGKt2FmdTS— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 As you can imagine, Will Smith&#39;s presence in the crowd is being mentioned a lot in commentary... 8:41AM Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) After the fluctuating momentum of the early part of the set, things have settled down a bit in the last few minutes. Tsonga is absolutely ripping his forehand, and he sends one flying past his opponent to wrap up a hold to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the first set. 8:38AM Kyrgios 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios levels the match with a love hold, and evens up the ace count at 5-5 with two more this game. He also hits a brilliant backhand winner up the line to secure the game. Credit: AFP 8:35AM Kyrgios* 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Two aces help Tsonga to a hold to 30. He leads the ace count five to three now. After Kyrgios won three games in a row, Tsonga has responded with three in a row of his own. We&#39;re on serve in the first set. 8:32AM Kyrgios 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tsonga breaks back Tsonga finally gets a point on the Kyrgios serve to make it 15-15, and all of a sudden he&#39;s up two break points at 15-40 when the Aussie dumps a volley into the net and makes a complete mess of a drop shot. Tsonga thinks he&#39;s done enough to secure the break, but Kyrgios comes up with an excellent forehand pass. On the second opportunity though, Tsonga does get the break, whipping a forehand that hits the tape and completely dies on the other side of the net. Very unlucky for Kyrgios, but we&#39;re back on serve. Scrap that Kyrgios tactic I was talking about of just focusing on his service games! .@Tsonga7 breaks back just like that! With a touch of luck ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/2G30WWlKt1— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:26AM Kyrgios* 3-2 Tsonga (*next server) You have to love that. Kyrgios attempts the equivalent of a SABR (sneak attack by Roger), but he does so on a first serve that absolutely flies past him. Brilliantly kamikaze stuff from Kyrgios. Tsonga meanwhile keeps his focus, and bangs down another T ace to complete a hold to 15. Kyrgios might take a page out of the Sampras/Federer book here and basically tap out of his returning games and put all his energy into taking care of his serve now he has the break. 8:24AM Kyrgios 3-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is serving like a dream, holding to love again in the blink of an eye. Tsonga hits just one shot in the entire game. 8:22AM Kyrgios* 2-1 Tsonga (*next server) - Kyrgios breaks Tsonga&#39;s hitting his forehand really well in the early stages, crunching an inside-in winner at over 100mph for 30-0. His backhand though remains a real weakness, and a couple of errors off that wing let his opponent into the game at 30-30. Kyrgios then finds himself up break point at 30-40 when Tsonga pushes a forehand long. An identical error on the next point hands Kyrgios the break. Perfect start for the Aussie. Early break for @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/6KQ6B4bpal— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 8:18AM Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios responds with a love hold of his own. Tsonga barely gets a return in play. 8:17AM Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Love hold for Tsonga to kick us off - sealed with a booming ace down the T. Expect a few of those from both players today. 8:16AM Ready? Play Tsonga serving first. The match hasn&#39;t even started and Kyrgios gets a ticking off from the umpire about how long he takes to get on court. 8:07AM Players take to the court Big noise for both players - Tsonga has always been a huge favourite in Melbourne, ever since that final run 10 years ago. John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios will win comfortably, which I find a little surprising. We&#39;ll see. �� Friday Night Lights ��@NickKyrgios and @Tsonga7 walk out onto a packed @RodLaverArena!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/KUVdipO0dK— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 7:55AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our live blog of what promises to be one of the matches of this year&#39;s Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are such showmen, such engaging characters that the match almost has the feel of a heavyweight boxing fight. Both players also have slightly tenuous boxing links... Tsonga of course was compared to the great Muhammad Ali when he stormed to the Australian Open final 10 years ago as an unseeded rookie, and he has celebrated some of his biggest wins since with a shadow boxing routine. And curiously, his father Didier attended the famous 1974 “Rumble in The Jungle” fight in the former Zaire. Kyrgios for his part is so spiky, so &quot;me against the world&quot; in his attitude that he would fit right in to the pugilistic world of boxing. Eddie Hearn would be licking his lips. And as my colleague Simon Briggs wrote last year, Kyrgios would also relish the way that boxing is structured as a sport - the one-off blockbuster fights would be far more suitable to the Aussie&#39;s take it or leave it attitude than the relentless week-by-week grind of the ATP Tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final a decade ago Credit: Getty Images Often with Kyrgios, he has more chance of beating a serial grand slam champion than he does one of men&#39;s tennis&#39;s more humdrum names. The Australian once reportedly asked with disdain how he was expected to get himself motivated for a first round match at a fairly minor tournament against the Argentina journeyman Guido Pella. Tsonga, as a former top-five player and finalist here, fits more in the former category of course, which should keep Kyrgios interested in the match. Both men have similar game styles built around booming serves and forehands, while each of them are handicapped by pretty workmanlike backhands. Tsonga&#39;s in particular is a real weakness. They are also just two places apart in the rankings - Kyrgios at 17, Tsonga at 15. The only previous time they met was indoors in Marseille last year, which Tsonga won in three tights sets. I&#39;m expecting another close match today, with Kyrgios coming through in four sets. The players should be in court in about five minutes.
Nick Kyrgios edges childhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and bonds with 'favourite actor' Will Smith in Australian Open thriller
Nick Kyrgios was determined not only to win on Friday against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist here, but to do so in the coolest manner possible. The ultimate aim was to impress watching Hollywood star Will Smith. As it happened, Kyrgios became quite heated at certain stages of his 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory. After dropping his serve in the second set, he shouted at himself “Why the f--- did I play doubles?” And on several occasions, he yelled at the friends and family in his player’s box to show more vocal support. But Kyrgios still enjoyed the opportunity to bond with Smith, once known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who sat right next to the court and often felt like a third participant in the drama. “He's like my favorite actor,” Kyrgios said after the match. “When I get asked if one person were acting your life, I always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight. I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, ‘I’ve got to break the ice, I’ve got to say something.’ I met him after the match and he was really genuine.” Asked to reveal more about their conversation, Kyrgios replied “Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making. I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis.’ I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.’ It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.” Will Smith enjoyed Kyrgios's post-match interview Credit: Getty Images As Kyrgios usually prefers to play on the more compact Hisense Arena, this win was surprisingly the first he had claimed on Rod Laver Arena as a professional, although he did collect the boy’s title there in 2013. Kyrgios might have won fewer points than Tsonga in Friday’s match – 142 to 144 – but his ability to lift at the big moments helped him navigate his way into the fourth round, where he will line up against ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a fascinating battle. Friday’s match was an emotional occasion all round. Tsonga is usually a genial presence on the court, but his temper boiled over unexpectedly after the third-set tie-break. The root cause was a heckler in the crowd, who had shouted out distractingly at a crucial moment. Tsonga started yelling at the culprit to “Come down here”, and persisted until umpire Jake Garner gave him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios hits a forehand against Tsonga on Friday Credit: AFP Afterwards, Tsonga explained that “On the set point, in between the first serve and the second, the guy was talking to me and telling me, ‘You are under pressure now,’ when I was bouncing my balls. I lost it and I go a little bit crazy. “It's not fair,” Tsonga added. “The guy was feeling safe because he was upstairs. I just tell him, ‘Come now to see if you feel the pressure or not.’” In the other matches played on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept into the last 16 in the most untroubled style with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Damir Dzumhur. But French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko suffered a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The result meant that only five of the top 16 women’s seeds have survived the first five days of the tournament. And that only two former grand-slam winners remained in the draw. Coincidentally, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – both past champions here – are due to meet on Saturday morning in the best third-round match of the day. 11:44AM Kyrgios gives a very entertaining post-match interview On the win: It was amazing. I'd never won a match on this court and was obviously a bit nervous playing Jo. I've always looked up to him - he's a great guy and a great champion. But I'm just happy to get through. You guys [the crowd] were amazing tonight. I was getting prepared for the fifth set at the end there. I was thinking he'd hit two big serves and I was in trouble. But I'm just happy to get through. I've got doubles tomorrow [laughs] and then a tough match against Grigor. I'll probably make the doubles tomorrow. He's a good mate of mine, I'll see how I feel. On playing a childhood idol: It was 2008 I was going to all of Tsonga's practice sessions and getting a ball signed everyday. Now to be in the locker room with these guys - especially Jo - is a bit normal for me now but at first it was pretty surreal and to beat him is just a dream come true. On the challenge of a fourth round match against Dimitrov: It will be very tough. He's an amazing athlete, had one of the best years on tour last year and it's bets of five sets. That favours him, he's a good friend of mine and I'm sure we'll both be looking forward to it. On the presence of Will Smith in the crowd (Kyrgios said in a recent interview that he would want Smith to play him if there was ever a movie about his life): [laughs] When I saw him out here I was so nervous honestly, and people think I try to act cool but honestly I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever. Can I say as well, I love the film Focus - I watch it every flight I go on. Best movie ever. Though that's because of Margot Robbie, not you. Nick. Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/tgo17cnT5k— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) January 19, 2018 11:34AM Game, set and match! Kyrgios defeats Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 He's done it! Tsonga nets a forehand, and after winning five points in a row, Kyrgios has won the breaker 7-5, and he is into the fourth round. Lovely exchange between the two players at the net, and I've rarely seen Kyrgios so animated after winning a match. "That's one of the best wins of his career." [17] @NickKyrgios reels off five points in a row in the deciding set tie-break to defeat [15] Jo-Wilfred #Tsonga and progress to the 4R!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/Oiihmmr602— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 11:32AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) It's match point Kyrgios, as he lures Tsonga to the net with a drop shot and then punches away a simple volley into the open court. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios serve-volleys and a startled Tsonga can only put his backhand return wide. Three points in a row for Kyrgios. 11:31AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios gets the second mini-break back when he fizzes a backhand that Tsonga can only volley into the net. The Frenchman grimaces and feels his knee after losing the point. 11:30AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios gets one of the mini-breaks back when Tsonga sends a backhand long. 11:29AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 2-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga clips away another volley winner, and he has the double mini-break. Tsonga's net game has been the decisive factor in this breaker so far. 11:28AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) Sensational crosscourt forehand winner from Kyrgios keeps the deficit to just one mini-break at the change of ends. Neither player seems to know the score, and that they have to change ends. 11:27AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-4 Tsonga (*next server) Another brilliant punched volley extends Tsonga's lead. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios is just wide with an attempted forehand pass up the line. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-2 Tsonga* (*next server) An ace from Kyrgios reduces the deficit. 11:26AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-2 Tsonga (*next server) A Kyrgios double fault hands Tsonga an early mini-break. What a dreadful time to chuck in a double. 11:25AM Fourth set tie-break: Kyrgios* 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) Another exceptional Tsonga volley puts the Frenchman in front. 11:24AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga wins the point of the game with another outstanding volley winner on the stretch, but Kyrgios holds easily to 15. We're into another tie-break. Credit: REUTERS 11:20AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Big opening for Kyrgios here, as a missed Tsonga backhand and a double fault make it 0-30. Two service winners make it 30-30 though, before an ace has us at 40-30. Kyrgios swears furiously at himself in response. Tsonga has the hold on his racket, but he tightens up again and sprays a forehand long. No matter, the Frenchman does hold a couple of points later after an ace and a missed Kyrgios forehand. Kyrgios will serve to take the fourth set into a tie-break. Kyrgios spending much of tonight nagging his box for not cheering vociferously enough for him. "It was Love-30! Speak! Speak!" #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 19, 2018 11:17AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios thunders down an ace to level the ace count at 26 apiece for 30-0, but a Tsonga forehand winner and a double fault has us at 30-30. Tsonga is two points from taking the match into a decider. Kyrgios misses his first serve, but basically hits another first serve on his second - a 122 mph howitzer - and gets his reward when Tsonga sends a backhand long. Kyrgios seals the hold on the next point with an ace out wide. Gutsy stuff. 11:11AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga (*next server) Now it's Kyrgios's turn to show some great defence, as he hoists up a lob that flummoxes his opponent for a rare 0-15 lead. Moments later though Kyrgios is screaming "how?" at himself after Tsonga hangs tough in the next two points to overpower the Aussie and move to 30-15. Two penetratingly deep serves follow, and Tsonga holds to 15. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the fourth set. Credit: AFP 11:08AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 4-4 Tsonga* (*next server) More on-point serving from Kyrgios takes him to 40-15, but two missed volleys have us back to deuce. Brilliant defence from Tsonga to force the errors. The Frenchman is then furious at himself for missing a makeable forehand, before a Kyrgios ace wraps up the hold. 11:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios applies real pressure this game, but Tsonga withstands it brilliantly to hold to 15. The highlight is a stunning backhand up the line that kisses the back of the baseline and takes the Frenchman to 40-15. It's initially called out, but Kyrgios sportingly tells Tsonga to challenge it. Tsonga falls about laughing knowing that Kyrgios has been known to get these wrong before. Kyrgios responds with a knowing grin when Hawk-eye shows the ball to be in. We remain on serve in the fourth set. 10:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Nervous moments for Kyrgios here, as he pushes a backhand into the net for 30-30. But the Aussie takes the next two points to escape and claim the hold. 10:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-3 Tsonga (*next server) After two hugely eventful games, Tsonga restores order with a hold to 15 - though there are still some thrilling points along the way. Tsonga serves two aces in the game, and now leads the ace count 26-22. An Australian grand slam champion is enjoying himself... Tension building on Rod Laver Arena! Some brilliant tennis from both @tsonga7 and @NickKyrgios. Fun to watch #AusOpen.— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) January 19, 2018 10:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-2 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds Tsonga is still furious. He says to umpire Jake Garner "I'll do what I want. Why can't I talk to him?" in reference to the supporter who Tsonga says has been yelling insults at him. The Frenchman's mood is lightened moments later though as he hits the most sensational half-volley pick up that clips the net cord as it trickles agonisingly over the net for 15-15. How on earth did Tsonga even get his racket to that? A service winner then takes Kyrgios to 30-15, but he doesn't put away a volley on the next point and then after back-pedalling he sends a desperate hot dog floating into the night sky to present Tsonga with an easy volley for 30-30. Oh dear, Kyrgios's first double fault of the match gifts his opponent a break point at 30-40. But somehow Kyrgios saves it with a sensational off-balance forehand winner on the run. He celebrates by imploring the crowd to make some noise. Sure enough, they duly oblige. A service winner and forehand winner follow, and Kyrgios has clung onto his serve. This is absolutely brilliant stuff from both players. .@NickKyrgios is up and about!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/EbWEhTZliI— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:43AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) - Tsonga saves three break points and holds Kyrgios has his opponent on the ropes now. A fading Tsonga dumps a backhand into the net for 0-30, and Kyrgios is buzzing with intent as he waits to return. Tsonga takes the next point, but Kyrgios shows great tactical acumen to chip and charge off a second serve and set himself up for an easy volley. It's two break points for the Aussie at 15-40. But Tsonga saves them both - the first with a forehand winner, the second with a volley winner after Kyrgios didn't do enough with an attempted pass. A frazzled Tsonga then double faults after thinking a second serve was a first serve, but recovers his composure to save a third break point with an inside-out forehand winner that lands plum on the line. Kyrgios challenges it just to add to the drama. Kyrgios then nets a forehand, which coupled with another Tsonga ace secures a crucial hold for the Frenchman. What a match this is! 10:36AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) In a bit of a role reversal, Kyrgios is keeping his focus in an exemplary manner while his opponent rages. The Aussie holds to love here with no fuss, and the crowd is absolutely loving this. Brilliant atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena on a balmy Melbourne evening. 10:35AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 0-1 Tsonga (*next server) The crowd are on their feet again as Kyrgios rips a forehand passing shot down the line to go up 15-0. Tsonga responds though to take the next four points and hold to 15 - two of them aces - but he's still furious with the umpire Jake Garner. Tsonga's frustration comes from someone in the crowd making distracting noises, and Garner gives him a code violation warning after saying "you have to calm down, no good can come from this". Tsonga looks seriously rattled and appeared to be calling out the member of the crowd. 10:29AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) - Game and third set Kyrgios Kyrgios takes the third set with a brilliant backhand return that Tsonga can't get in play! The tie-break ends 8-6 in Kyrgios's favour, and after saving a set point he leads by two sets to one. What has the 32-year-old Tsonga got left? He's raging at the umpire at the change of ends, and says to the umpire Jake Garner "don't talk to me". .@NickKyrgios goes 2️⃣ sets to 1️⃣ up!#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/hmylBNdtYa— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:27AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 7-6 Tsonga* (*next server) Another forehand winner earns Kyrgios a set point. 10:26AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios saves the set point with a brilliant inside out forehand winner. Tsonga can only smile ruefully. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 5-6 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios misses a simple return off a second serve, and it's set point Tsonga. 10:25AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Excellent hitting on the forehand side from Tsonga draws an error from Kyrgios to level things up. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T puts Kyrgios back in front. 10:24AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios sprays a forehand wildly long to hand the mini-break back to his opponent. 10:23AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 4-3 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga slams down a 134mph Ace up the T to reduce the deficit. 10:22AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 4-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Kyrgios guides a backhand passing shot winner down the line, and he gets the crucial mini-break! Brilliant from @NickKyrgios! ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/8zNzEfcKnn— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 10:21AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Ace down the T from Kyrgios keeps us on serve in the breaker. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga misses a makeable backhand up the line, and we're back level. 10:20AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios* 1-2 Tsonga (*next server) Ace out wide gets Tsonga in front. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Service winner from Tsonga levels things up. 10:19AM Third set tie-break: Kyrgios 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) Solid forehand approach shot from Kyrgios draws a netted forehand from his opponent. 10:18AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Tie-break Tsonga, serving with new balls, slams down three straight aces to complete a love hold. We're into a third set tie-break. 10:15AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Tsonga* (*next server) Third straight love hold for Kyrgios, and 14 points in a row on serve, puts the pressure straight back on Tsonga. He'll serve for the second time to stay in the third set. Kyrgios is getting 65 per cent of his first serves in; Tsonga 71. Exceptional level from both men, as the match ticks into its third hour. Credit: Getty Images 10:13AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Tsonga (*next server) For the first time since midway through the first set, Kyrgios gets to 0-15 - a backhand down the line doing the damage. Tsonga responds well though with a strong forehand and two service winners for 40-15. An ace down the T seals the hold, and on we go in the third set. 10:09AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Tsonga* (*next server) Back to back aces put Kyrgios well in control, and a clever approach shot takes him to 40-0. Tsonga then sprays a forehand long, and that's 10 points in a row for Kyrgios on serve. Tsonga will serve to stay in the third set. 10:07AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios does at least get point on his opponent's serve this game, but it's a minor inconvenience as Tsonga holds to 15. Again Kyrgios doesn't do enough on a couple of baseline exchanges. 10:04AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Tsonga* (*next server) Tsonga is serving beautifully, but Kyrgios is hitting a groove of his own. He holds to love here - helped by his 16th ace of the match - and we continue to rattle along on serve in the third set. Who is going to blink first? Kyrgios in action. Serving and swearing. He’s very good at both. #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/7l854ykcD1— Chris McKendry (@ChrisMcKendry) January 19, 2018 10:03AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios is just pushing his backhand a little bit, and it's allowing Tsonga to dominate the baseline exchanges. Again the Aussie gets a look on a few of Tsonga's service points, but again he does nothing with them. Tsonga holds to love again, and Kyrgios is no closer to cracking his opponent's serve. Six out of Tsonga's last seven service games have been love holds. 9:58AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Tsonga* (*next server) Again Kyrgios suffers a lapse in focus. From 40-15 up he is complacent with a backhand that should be a winner but instead he floats the shot aimlessly into the Melbourne sky to give Tsonga an easy volley, before a duffed forehand has us at deuce all of a sudden. Thankfully for him a massive ace followed by a missed Tsonga backhand secures the hold. We remain on serve in the third set. Credit: AFP 9:53AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Tsonga (*next server) Kyrgios needs to start applying some pressure on the Tsonga serve. Clearly there's nothing he can do when his opponent is banging down aces, but this game Kyrgios gets a look at a couple of points but makes sloppy errors. Tsonga holds to love again, and the pressure swings right back to the home favourite. 9:50AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 2-1 Tsonga* (*next server) Love hold for Kyrgios - the highlight of which is a 136mph serve that Tsonga does well to get a racket to. Kyrgios celebrates winning the game with a big roar of "come on". He's trying to get himself energised again, which is good to see. 9:48AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Tsonga (*next server) The Tsonga run of points on his own serve finally ends at 20, as he miscues a forehand wide for 15-15. Kyrgios then beautifully guides a backhand pass crosscourt for 15-30. Tsonga responds with back-to-back aces down the T, but he nets a forehand to take us to deuce. The Frenchman recovers his composure though, and claims the hold after a service winner and then a sensational knifed backhand volley winner from down by his shoelaces. That is a proper volley. .@RodLaver approves ��#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/iAmJhOcCqY— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2018 9:43AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Tsonga* (*next server) If Tsonga can get off to a good start here, you fear for Kyrgios, who is struggling to get himself going. Tsonga is playing with far more variety than his opponent, and he gets to 0-15 with another judicious foray to the net. Kyrgios lifts his level though, and rattles off the next four points - the last one an excellent backhand winner up the line - to get his nose in front in the third set. 9:36AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 4-6 Tsonga (*next server) - Game and second set Tsonga This is interesting. At a change of ends a few minutes ago, Kyrgios reportedly said to himself: "Why the f*** did I play doubles?" Kyrgios of course made the questionable choice yesterday to play a doubles match with fellow Aussie Matt Reid that lasted two hours in the sweltering heat. Is he feeling that in his legs now? He does look to be a little weary, whereas Tsonga is buzzing around the court looking as fresh as a daisy. He cooly serves out the set to love, sealed with yet another forehand winner, to make it 18 straight points on serve. More importantly, we're level at one set all. Tsonga has left the court for a comfort break. Credit: REUTERS 9:31AM Kyrgios 7-6, 4-5 Tsonga* (*next server) No dramas for Kyrgios this game. An ace down the T wraps up a hold to 15. Tsonga will serve for the second set. 9:30AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 3-5 Tsonga (*next server) Tsonga is in such a groove on his serve now. He reels off a third straight love hold, and has now won 14 straight points on serve. Two more aces this game means he leads the ace count 13-12. Kyrgios will serve to stay in the second set. Credit: AP 9:27AM Kyrgios 7-6, 3-4 Tsonga* (*next server) - Kyrgios saves a break point and holds This is crazy. Kyrgios is in charge at 40-0, but chucks away the next two points and then at 40-30 wastes half a dozen chances to win the rally, and ends up presenting Kyrgios with a sitter of a backhand. Tsonga is so confident that he flicks it away for a winner one-handed. Amazing. A terrible forehand then gifts Tsonga a break point, which Kyrgios saves with a service winner. Two more big serves follow, and Kyrgios does eventually hold. "So s*** man", Kyrgios mutters to himself as he slumps onto his seat at the change of ends. 9:23AM Kyrgios* 7-6, 2-4 Tsonga (*next server) What a mood change here. Kyrgios is annoyed ta himself; Tsonga is gliding around the court and really enjoying himself. Two aces and another beautiful d