Australian Open day eight: Nadal sees off Kyrgios while women’s champions fall

Rafael Nadal repeated his Wimbledon victory over Nick Kyrgios to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The most-anticipated match of the tournament so far certainly lived up to its billing, with Kyrgios, who paid tribute to basketball star Kobe Bryant by wearing a Los Angeles Lakers vest, throwing everything at the world number one but just coming up short in a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (6) 7-6 (4) defeat.

Nadal next faces Dominic Thiem while there are no former Melbourne champions left in the women’s draw after victories for Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anett Kontaveit.

Picture of the day

The sun sets over Nadal and Kyrgios
The sun sets over Nadal and Kyrgios

Quote of the day

Conchita Martinez on the reaction to the renewal of her partnership with Garbine Muguruza.

Bringing the tricks

It was not just Kyrgios playing the showman at Melbourne Park on Monday. Gael Monfils, no strange to the unconventional, won a point against Thiem with an underarm serve while Polish teen Iga Swiatek went for the tweener.

Tat’s the way

Tennis players are a superstitious lot but Thiem revealed his mother has established one of the more unusual traditions – getting a new tattoo every time her son wins a tournament.

“Unfortunately I have to confirm it,” he said sheepishly. “I really would like to deny it but no.

“I had a pretty bad start to the season last year, some first-round losses, and after a long trip to Indian Wells from Rio, really jet-lagged, she said if you win this title I’m going to make a tattoo. I ended up winning that one so this tradition started.”

Fallen seeds

Nick Kyrgios wears an LA Lakers jersey in tribute to Kobe Bryant
Nick Kyrgios wears an LA Lakers jersey in tribute to Kobe Bryant

Women: Kiki Bertens (9), Elise Mertens (16), Angelique Kerber (17)
Men: Daniil Medvedev (4), Gael Monfils (10), Andrey Rublev (17), Nick Kyrgios (23)

Who’s up next?

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Quarter final coming up 💪🏽

A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty) on Jan 26, 2020 at 4:45am PST

Ashleigh Barty is flying the Australian flag alone in singles following Kyrgios’ defeat and she will try to avenge a quarter-final loss from last year against Petra Kvitova.

Sofia Kenin and Ons Jabeur will both bid to reach a first grand slam semi-final while Novak Djokovic takes on Milos Raonic and Roger Federer meets Tennys Sandgren.

British trio Joe Salisbury, Ken Skupksi and Jonny O’Mara are all in action in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles.