Nick Kyrgios has vowed to help anyone who has fallen on hard times due to the coronavirus crisis by delivering food to their doorstep.

Australian world number 40 Kyrgios on Monday took to Instagram to offer his support for those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He wrote: "If ANYONE is not working/not getting an income and runs out of food, or times are just tough...please don't go to sleep with an empty stomach.

"Don't be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message. I will be more than happy to share what I have. Even just for a box of noodles, a load of bread or milk.

"I will drop it off at your doorstep, no questions asked."

Unemployment is expected to soar in Australia following as a result of such unprecedented times, with businesses forced to close.

Kyrgios also played a huge part in raising funds for the bushfire crisis in his homeland earlier this year.

Nick Kyrgios hit out at fans after being booed off court following his decision to retire against Ugo Humbert at the Mexican Open.

Kyrgios was the defending champion in Acapulco but lasted just one set - losing it 6-3 - before opting to quit due to a troublesome wrist injury.

The announcement did not go down well with fans who roundly jeered the Australian as he gathered his belongings and left the arena.

Kyrgios was unapologetic afterwards and felt he did not deserve the criticism that came his way.

Asked about the boos, he told reporters: "I couldn't give a f***. I literally couldn't give a f***.

"I'm not healthy. I tried to come here, I tried to play. I've been doing media for the tournament and helping out.

"I tried to play, I tried to give the fans a little bit of tennis and they're disrespectful.

"I honestly just really couldn't give a f***."

Kyrgios has had a solid start to 2020, helping Australia reach the semi-finals of the inaugural ATP Cup before going down in four sets to Rafael Nadal in the last 16 at the Australian Open.

He was forced to pull out of the Delray Beach Open last week due to the wrist problem, however.

"I've been dealing with a bit of a wrist injury, obviously, for the last couple of weeks," he added.

"After the Australian Open I took a week and a half off and then I started hitting again, I started feeling my wrist."

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev moved through at the Mexican Open, while Nick Kyrgios was booed as his title defence came to an end.

A two-time champion of the event, top seed Nadal cruised past Spanish compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-3 6-2 on Tuesday.

In competitive action for the first time since the Australian Open, Nadal needed just 90 minutes to post his fourth victory in as many meetings with Andujar.

Zverev, the second seed at the ATP 500 tournament, survived an early battle before getting past Jason Jung 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.

Last year's runner-up, Zverev served 12 aces and broke four times in his victory.

Kyrgios beat Zverev in the final in 2019, but the Australian lasted just 31 minutes in the first round.

Ugo Humbert took the first set 6-3 when Kyrgios retired due to a wrist injury, the 24-year-old receiving some boos as he left the court.

Kyrgios was the only seed to fall as Felix Auger-Aliassime, John Isner, Grigor Dimitrov and Dusan Lajovic advanced at the hard-court tournament.

Taylor Fritz, Pedro Martinez and Kwon Soon-woo were also among the winners.

At the Chile Open in Santiago, seeds Juan Ignacio Londero, Federico Delbonis and Thiago Monteiro all got through their first-round matches.

Nick Kyrgios mourned the loss of Kobe Bryant but said the NBA legend's achievements were an inspiration to him during his Australian Open clash with Rafael Nadal.

Home hope Kyrgios walked onto the court wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey adorned with the number eight Bryant made famous at the start of his two-decade career with the franchise. 

Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday.

Taking to Rod Laver Arena the following day, an emotional Kyrgios succumbed to a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) loss against the world number one, but revealed Bryant's passing had been on his mind.

"I never met Kobe but basketball is practically my life. I watch it every day. I've been following it for as long as I can remember," said Kyrgios.

"When I woke up to the news, it was pretty emotional. It was pretty heavy, like, all day. Obviously I was having basketball on at my house, watching the games. It was heavy. It's just tough. It's horrible news.

"If you look at the things he stood for, what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight. When I was down a break in the fourth, I was definitely thinking about it. I fought back."

Kyrgios is a fan of the Boston Celtics, a side who were often on the receiving end of Bryant's brilliance, but the 24-year-old had long admired the five-time NBA champion's skill and dedication to his craft.

"I'm a Celtic fan. When I saw Kobe do what he does, break the hearts of so many Celtics fans, it was tough to see," he said.

"I don't think they make them like him anymore. He was different, the way he trained, the way he did things, the way he played. He was special."

Rafael Nadal conceded nerves almost got the better of him at one stage against Nick Kyrgios but feels he is playing better every day after booking an Australian Open quarter-final against Dominic Thiem.

The world number one hit 64 winners to just 27 unforced errors to impressively beat a motivated Kyrgios 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) in a tense fourth-round encounter.

While the Australian acknowledged Nadal had performed better than him on the biggest points, the Spaniard noted he had struggled at one key period on Monday.

Serving for the match at 5-4 up in the fourth set, he lost the game to allow Kyrgios back into the match and had to make a gutsy hold soon after just to force a second tie-break, which he ultimately won.

"I played a bad game, that's true," said Nadal. "I was playing great with my serve, winning all the games with very positive feelings. 

"In the 5-4 game, like everybody, I get a little bit more nerves, I was nervous at that moment.

"I played a bad game. I accept I was more nervous at that moment. I am humble enough to accept that sometimes I am nervous and I can have mistakes. That's what happened.

"I kept going, because in the next game I have 15-40 again. I was not able to achieve the break but I said after it got to 6-5, 'I need to forget the bad game with my serve, we are still very close to the victory'. 

"I needed to play with the right determination until the end of this set. I can lose, I can win, but I cannot play with more nerves than what I should. I did it already once, and I didn't want to repeat that. 

"And I think I didn't – in the 6-5 I played a great game with my serve. In the tie-break, I was serving well. I played a solid tie-break.

"Anything could happen in the tie-breaks. Both of them have been very close."

Nadal is optimistic about the state of his game after reaching a 12th Australian Open quarter-final, with the Kyrgios match being the first time he has dropped a set at the tournament.

He added: "I am moving in the right direction. Every day I'm playing a little bit better.

"Very tough match next against Dominic. He's playing well. I saw him play against Gael Monfils and he was playing tennis at a very high level.

"We know each other well. He's a player that I like a lot, the way that he works, the way that he plays, and the way that he tries his best always.

"It is a match that going to be a tough one, but it will be interesting, no? I am excited to play this quarter-final. I know I have to be at my best to have chances."

Nick Kyrgios conceded he was "shattered" to have a lost his tense fourth-round match against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but spoke of his appreciation for the world number one.

Amid an apparent softening of relations between the two rivals, Nadal praised Kyrgios in his on-court interview after winning a close encounter 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) in three hours and 38 minutes.

Having overcome a worthy opponent, Nadal said the 24-year-old could contend at any tournament if he maintains his level of performance.

The scoreline was the same as when he beat Kyrgios at Wimbledon last year, but the Australian felt he was much closer to securing an upset victory this time.

"I mean, I appreciate it," Kyrgios said when he was asked about Nadal's comments.

"I've known that for the last four years but the trouble for me is being able to actually just produce the same attitude over and over again. Hopefully I can keep doing it. I'm just taking it day by day, trying to be positive, just bring positive vibes.

"Rafa was really good. Played too good. The court was really, really slow. I just couldn't get a ball past him. 

"I was trying to serve and volley, trying to dropshot. Eventually I would have to win the point three times to win a point. That's just the champion he is, the player he is. 

"He makes you play the extra ball. He played well, considering how slow [the court] was. He served really well, hit his backhand slice really well. He just played the bigger points better than I did.

"I'm shattered to have lost. Obviously these are the matches that I want to win the most. I had chances. I was a couple of points away from the third set and the fourth set.

"It felt a lot closer this time, especially in the 5-5 game in the third set where I was at deuce a couple times. He played some unbelievable points. I felt like if I got that third set, I would have really, really been on top of him.

"I was kind of feeling the match turn a little bit. If I break in that game, I thought I was going to raise my intensity, my energy. I definitely felt a lot closer this time around. The one at Wimbledon, I felt like I wasn't playing as good."

Kyrgios has been pleased with his progress on and off the court over the past month after an emotional period where he inspired fundraising efforts for the bushfire crisis in Australia.

And his tournament is not yet over with a mixed doubles campaign alongside Amanda Anisimova ongoing.

Kyrgios added: "Overall all this summer has been fun. My focus shifts to mixed now.

"I just want to go out there and have fun. I'm still in the tournament. I'm not going to take it for granted, another day at the Australian Open.

"I think I'm playing better tennis than I was [in making the 2015 quarter-finals]. You look at my draw back then to the opponents I played this time around, probably a lot tougher this time.

"I felt good. I actually felt fresh. I was ready to go five if it needed to get there.

"I feel like I've made progress as a human. A tennis player, I don't really care about as much, but I feel good and for sure I want to keep going in this direction."

Rafael Nadal survived a fourth-round test at the Australian Open, but Daniil Medvedev fell to Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne on Monday.

Nadal overcame Nick Kyrgios in a huge battle on Rod Laver Arena, reaching the quarter-finals at the year's first grand slam for the 12th time.

The man he conquered in last year's US Open final, Medvedev, fell short in a five-set thriller against Wawrinka.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev's impressive run continued and Dominic Thiem also advanced to the last eight.

 

NADAL GETS PAST KYRGIOS

Nadal needed three hours, 38 minutes and a fine performance to edge past Kyrgios 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

The world number one, who has endured a frosty relationship with the Australian, hit 64 winners and made just 27 unforced errors in his win.

A visibly emotional Kyrgios warmed up for the blockbuster clash in a Kobe Bryant jersey, paying tribute after the Los Angeles Lakers great's death on Sunday.

The 23rd seed fought hard as the pair put on a show, but was left to rue costly errors in the two tie-breaks.

Nadal will face Thiem, who powered past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 in under two hours, as the Spaniard's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles continues.

Thiem, 26, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.

 

RESURGENT WAWRINKA OVERCOMES MEDVEDEV

Champion in Melbourne in 2014, Wawrinka produced what was the only upset of the day – at least by ranking – as he eliminated Medvedev.

The Swiss three-time grand slam champion claimed his first win in three meetings with the Russian fourth seed, winning 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.

After failing to go beyond the third round of any major in 2018, Wawrinka reached two quarters in 2019 and is into the last eight in Melbourne for the first time since 2017 – the year he underwent knee surgery.

The loss saw Medvedev fall to a 0-6 win-loss record in five-setters in his career.

"As I say, I don't like to play five sets," he told a news conference. "I get tired. Even though I'm there, I want to win it. As I say, at this moment, didn't win one in my life. We'll try better next time."

 

ZVEREV'S CLASSY RUN CONTINUES

Next up for Wawrinka is Zverev, who is yet to drop a set after impressively brushing past Russian 17th seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Zverev, the German seventh seed, did not face a break point on his way to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

It also marked the first time Zverev has reached the quarters at a major other than the French Open, where he lost in the last eight in 2018 and 2019.

"He showed why he's a grand slam champion, beating Medvedev, coming back from two sets to one down, playing great tennis," Zverev said about Wawrinka.

"He's still one of the toughest players to play, especially here in Australia."

Rafael Nadal encouraged Nick Kyrgios to continue with the same attitude he showed at the Australian Open after the Spaniard won their fourth-round clash on Monday.

World number one Nadal survived a test against Kyrgios, reaching the quarter-finals courtesy of a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) win on Rod Laver Arena.

The pair have endured a frosty relationship in the past but were largely respectful throughout, while Kyrgios' latest performance looked another step in the right direction for the volatile Australian.

Nadal said the 24-year-old was one of the best players on the ATP Tour and needed to continue with his improved attitude.

"What can I say again about Nick? When he's playing like today with a positive attitude, he gives lots of positive things to our sport," the Spaniard said in an on-court interview.

"I encourage him to keep working like this because he's one of the highest talents we have on our tour.

"I like the Nick Kyrgios of this tournament."

Kyrgios had warmed up for the clash in a Kobe Bryant jersey after the Los Angeles Lakers great's death.

Nadal also paid tribute to Bryant, who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday.

"He always wanted more, he always wanted to increase his level," he said.

"He was a true inspiration for the world of sport and for a lot of kids, so it's one of these days that you want to forget.

"But of course, Kobe Bryant will be in our hearts and minds for the rest of our lives."

Rafael Nadal survived a test from Nick Kyrgios to move into the Australian Open quarter-finals with a four-set win on Monday.

The world number one was pushed by Kyrgios on Rod Laver Arena before completing a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) victory after three hours, 38 minutes in the fourth round.

Nadal produced the strong performance he needed to overcome the talented Australian, who warmed up in a Kobe Bryant jersey to honour the Los Angeles Lakers great following his death on Sunday.

The Spaniard remains on track to match Roger Federer's men's record of 20 grand slam titles after reaching a 41st major quarter-final and 12th in Melbourne, where Dominic Thiem awaits.

Nadal would land the first blow of a high-quality start in the fourth game.

Highlighted by a ripping forehand passing winner, Nadal broke for 3-1 in an error-riddled game by Kyrgios, including two poor drop shots.

The first set belonged to Nadal in slightly windy conditions, the single break and 14 winners helping him take it in 36 minutes.

Nadal was booed as he made Kyrgios wait to start the second set before the latter saved three break points in the opening game.

The importance of that hold was amplified when Kyrgios, pumping up the crowd after setting up break point, produced a forehand winner down the line to take a 3-1 lead.

Facing some pressure at 30-30 serving for the set, the 24-year-old delivered two huge aces to level the match.

No early blow was forthcoming in the third set, a brave drop shot from Kyrgios seeing him save a break point in the eighth game.

A tense tie-break followed, Kyrgios and Nadal trading double faults from 5-5 before a forehand error from the Australian – who also broke a racquet – gave his opponent the set.

Coming off his epic five-setter against Karen Khachanov, Kyrgios looked beaten when he was broken to love following a double fault in the third game of the fourth set.

To his credit, Kyrgios hung in there, breaking back when Nadal was serving for the match in the 10th game, much to the appreciation of the Rod Laver crowd.

Kyrgios dug himself out of a 15-40 hole in the following game as another tie-break followed, a terrible drop shot handing Nadal a 5-3 lead he would not relinquish before the pair shared a respectful handshake at the net amid what has been a frosty relationship.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  
Rafael Nadal [1] bt Nick Kyrgios [23] 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Nadal – 64/27
Kyrgios – 50/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Nadal – 12/4
Kyrgios – 25/5

BREAK POINTS WON  
Nadal – 2/9
Kyrgios – 2/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Nadal – 65
Kyrgios – 75 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE  
Nadal – 85/64
Kyrgios – 73/37

TOTAL POINTS  
Nadal – 147
Kyrgios – 124

Nick Kyrgios paid tribute to Kobe Bryant before his Australian Open fourth-round clash with Rafael Nadal on Monday.

The Australian, a huge basketball fan, wore a Los Angeles Lakers jersey with the number eight Bryant made famous to begin his career.

A visibly emotional Kyrgios received a fine ovation as he entered Rod Laver Arena in the jersey.

Lakers great Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday.

The sporting world celebrated and mourned Bryant after his shock death.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among the football stars paying their respects, while the NBA world mourned Bryant's passing.

It is safe to say 19-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal and outspoken Australian Nick Kyrgios are not friends.

Their feud stems back to February last year and shows no signs of subsiding ahead of Monday's last-16 showdown at the Australian Open.

As the pair renew hostilities in Melbourne, we look at the timeline of events that has led to tennis' biggest feud.

 

February 2019 - Sparks fly in Acapulco​

Kyrgios' first meeting with Nadal was at the All England Club in 2014 - the then-19-year-old Kyrgios stunning the two-time Wimbledon champion to reach the quarter-finals.

However, their Mexican Open date five years later changed things completely. Kyrgios took down Nadal in the second round en route to winning the ATP Tour tournament. Kyrgios was at his brilliant and menacing best, rallying from a set down, saving three match points and attempting underarm serves. He also complained that Nadal was taking too long to serve.

Afterwards, Nadal told reporters: "He's a player who has enormous talent, could be winning grand slams or fighting for the number one ranking. He lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent and towards himself… I don't think he's a bad guy, but he lacks a little respect for the public and the rival."

Kyrgios responded by saying: "He doesn't know anything about me. So, I'm not going to listen at all. That's the way I play. The way he plays is very slow in between points. The rule in the book says he has to pay to the speed of the server, but Rafa has his speed every time, so I'm not going to comment on him. He's got his own game. I've got my game. We played well. That's the sport. People are different so I'm not going to take that into consideration at all."

March 2019 - Uncle Toni takes aim at Kyrgios

At Indian Wells, Nadal tried to quell what he said, but his uncle Toni reignited the fire as he got involved.

In an interview with Radio Marca, Toni Nadal said: "Rafa is totally right. He [Kyrgios] lacks education and smartness. He should be fighting for the top rankings and instead, he is number 40. He does not look like a bad guy but he has been disrespectful too many times to get back on track."

May 2019 - Kyrgios returns serve as war of words continue

Never one to sit back and hold fire, Kyrgios responded in his appearance on podcast 'No Challenges Remaining' as the maligned Australian ruffled feathers ahead of the French Open.

Describing Nadal as "salty", the unfiltered Kyrgios told tennis writer Ben Rothenberg: "When he wins, it's fine. He won't say anything bad, he'll credit the opponent, 'He was a great player'. But as soon as I beat him, it's just like, 'He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game'.

"It's not a good look for you, I feel. And then uncle Toni came out saying, 'He lacks education'. I'm like, 'Bra [brother], I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I'm very educated. I understand that you're upset I beat your family again'."

July 2019 - Kyrgios and Nadal reunite at Wimbledon

Fans and pundits were licking their lips when Kyrgios and Nadal went head-to-head in the second round of Wimbledon. Nadal emerged triumphant in four sets after an eventful and tense battle. Kyrgios served underarm, received a code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour and hit the unimpressed Nadal with a powerful forehand.

Asked if he regretted not apologising for hitting Nadal, Kyrgios responded: "Why would I apologise?… I didn't hit him. Hit his racquet, no? Why would I apologise? I won the point."

"I don't care. Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account? I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I'm not going to apologise to him at all," Kyrgios added.

"I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he's got decent hands."

January 2020 - Kyrgios impersonates Nadal as tension builds

Fast forward to the Australian Open and Kyrgios has already added more spice to a tasty fourth-round matchup. Kyrgios impersonated Nadal as he was called for a time violation during his win against Gilles Simon in the second round at Melbourne Park.

When asked if he liked Kyrgios following Saturday's routine victory over Pablo Carreno Busta, Nadal's response was telling. "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion," Nadal told reporters. "It's clear, of course, that when he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like. 

"When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is a positive player for our tour, and I want my tour bigger, not smaller. So the players who make the tour bigger are important for the tour. When he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion, is one of these guys. When he's doing the other stuff, of course I don't like."

After earning a date with Nadal courtesy of a marathon five-setter, Kyrgios said in a news conference: "At the end of the day, we're two different tennis players. We go about it completely different… Regardless, if we don't like each other or whatever, I think there's a layer of respect. He's one of the greatest of all time. 

"I also read that he thinks I'm good for the sport. There's a layer of respect that we both have for each other. Doesn't necessarily mean we like each other, but we're going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.

"I don't really know Rafa. I've never hung out with him or anything like that. So I don't really know how he is. I don't really dislike him. I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay."

Tennis' biggest feud takes centre stage when world number one Rafael Nadal clashes with Nick Kyrgios in the last 16 at the Australian Open on Monday.

Nadal and Australian star Kyrgios have been outspoken in their opinion of each other amid a fractured relationship, stemming from last year's Mexican Open.

Rod Laver Arena will play host to the blockbuster showdown, with Nadal looking to maintain his charge towards a record-equalling 20th grand slam title.

We take a closer look at Nadal as the 33-year-old prepares for the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

 

Form and results

Nadal has barely raised a sweat in the opening week of the tournament, but he took his game to a new level against Davis Cup team-mate Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday. Nadal's relentless power and precision left his countryman helpless on Rod Laver Arena, where the top seed hit 42 winners and just seven unforced errors. It was also the 47th time Nadal advanced to the fourth round at a major.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0
R2: bt Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1
R3: bt Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4

Next up

It is the showdown everyone wanted – Nadal v 23rd seed Kyrgios amid their frosty relationship and feud. Maligned Australian Kyrgios earned his ticket to the last 16 the hard way via a marathon five-set contest against Karen Khachanov. Kyrgios coughed up a two-sets-to-love lead before finally overcoming 16th seed Khachanov after four hours, 26 minutes on Saturday.

Draw

A rematch of last year's US Open final could be on the horizon. If Nadal gets past Kyrgios and then either fifth seed Dominic Thiem or 10th seed Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals, Flushing Meadows runner-up Daniil Medvedev might stand in the way of the Spaniard and back-to-back Australian Open finals. Nadal overcame Medvedev in a memorable five-setter in New York.

What he said

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that I made an important one [on Saturday]."

Nick Kyrgios believes a layer of respect exists between himself and Rafael Nadal but would not go as far as saying he likes the world number one ahead of their Australian Open meeting.

After both players won their third-round matches on Saturday, they will do battle in the pick of the fourth-round ties on Monday.

Nadal cruised to a 6-1 6-2 6-4 win over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, while Kyrgios overcame Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) in an incredibly close contest lasting four hours and 26 minutes.

Kyrgios has won three of his seven meetings against Nadal in a rivalry that stepped up a gear at last year's Mexican Open when words were exchanged after a match the Australian won.

After his straightforward win in Melbourne, Nadal said he was unsure whether he likes the 24-year-old, though conceded his involvement in the sport can benefit the ATP Tour.

When it was Kyrgios' turn to face reporters, he referenced the duo's battle at Wimbledon last year, which Nadal won in four close sets.

"Last time I played him was at Wimbledon," said Kyrgios. "We had a pretty good match, 7-6 in the fourth set. 

"At the end of the day, we're two different tennis players. We go about it completely different. After Wimbledon, I lost, I got beaten by the better player. 

"I shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and said, 'Too good'. Regardless, if we don't like each other or whatever, I think there's a layer of respect. He's one of the greatest of all time. 

"I also read that he thinks I'm good for the sport. There's a layer of respect that we both have for each other. Doesn't necessarily mean we like each other, but we're going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.

"I don't really know Rafa. I've never hung out with him or anything like that. So I don't really know how he is. I don't really dislike him. I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay."

Kyrgios believes Nadal will have a physical advantage after having an easier route through to the last 16 but is not overly concerned, also saying his hamstring is better after he felt it against Khachanov.

He added: "Physically I think I'll be fine. I have a whole day off [Sunday]. Get some rest after this, do all the right things. I'm super excited honestly. Playing one of the greatest tennis players on center court at your own slam, it's pretty damn cool.

"I've got a lot of time between now and then. Obviously it's going to be another physical battle.

"Nothing comes easy with him. He had a relatively routine match, so he's going to be feeling good. I'm looking forward to it. That's why you play, I guess."

Kyrgios has a 2-1 record against Nadal on hard courts, and continued: "Ever since juniors I enjoyed playing lefties. 

"I feel like I kind of know what game plan I need to bring to be successful against them. 

"Rafa is a different beast altogether. I kind of know his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns, can't do anything about it. Federer knows his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns. He executes them at the highest level. 

"I feel good. Like I feel like my game is ready to go. But it was crazy [against Khachanov]. I don't think the emotions have died down at all."

Nick Kyrgios emerged triumphant in a dramatic five-set clash with Karen Khachanov despite struggling with a hamstring injury, booking a highly anticipated meeting with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

After passing up match points in the third and fourth sets, home favourite Kyrgios came out on top in the longest match of his career by beating Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) at a raucous Melbourne Arena in four hours, 26 minutes.

Top seed Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, while US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 and will face Stan Wawrinka in the last 16.

The Swiss advanced after John Isner retired while 6-4 4-1 down, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils joining him in round round four.

 

CROCKED KYRGIOS CLINGS ON

Kyrgios started confidently against Khachanov and, despite taking a medical time-out at 5-2 up in the first set, managed to edge a second-set tie-break while continuing to grip at the back of his leg.

However, he was unable to repeat the trick at the second time of asking and became increasingly frustrated as the Russian wrested control of the match away from him.

Kyrgios appeared to be struggling for motivation at points and became increasingly vocal, but he hung in to take the victory to the delight of his fervent supporters.

The Australian has a strained relationship with Nadal, who he described as "salty" after their meeting at last year's Mexican Open and impersonated after being called for a time violation while serving against Gilles Simon in round two.

Asked about going up against the 19-time major champion in his on-court interview, Kyrgios said: "Whatever happened between us he's an amazing player. I'm not even thinking about that right now, I'm thinking about my legs and getting them in an ice bath and getting some food."

 

NO STOPPING NADAL

Nadal was at his imperious best against Carreno Busta, winning 87 per cent and 78 per cent of points behind his first and second serve respectively, while also smashing 41 winners – twice as many as his opponent.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days. I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand," said Nadal.

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that today I made an important one."

Asked if he likes Kyrgios, Nadal said: "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion."

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Rublev started 2020 with titles at the Qatar Open and Brisbane International and has continued his fine form at Melbourne Park.

The world number 16's 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph over David Goffin was his 15th match win in succession, four of which came in the Davis Cup Finals.

Rublev had wobbles after taking big leads in both tie-breaks, but Goffin made 27 unforced errors in the last two sets to help the Russian progress to a meeting with Zverev.

Seventh seed Zverev is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park after overcoming Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

"IT'S A DISGRACE"

After beating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Dominic Thiem – who overcame 29th seed Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 – Monfils refuted a report claiming excessively playing video games led to him suffering a hand injury.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

Rafael Nadal is unsure whether he likes Nick Kyrgios ahead of a potential last-16 clash at the Australian Open amid the pair's tense relationship.

World number one Nadal raced through to the fourth round at Melbourne Park thanks to Saturday's ruthless 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Next up for 19-time grand slam champion Nadal is either maligned Australian Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov in Melbourne.

All eyes have been on Nadal and Kyrgios since the latter described the Spanish superstar as "salty" last year, after the duo exchanged words at the 2019 Mexican Open.

That feud has been thrust into the spotlight after Kyrgios impersonated Nadal – who has called for the 24-year-old to show more respect – as he was called for a time violation during his second-round win against Gilles Simon at Melbourne Park.

Nadal was asked about Kyrgios following his match on Rod Laver Arena and the 2009 Australian Open champion's response was telling.

"I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion," Nadal told reporters when asked if he liked Kyrgios. "It's clear, of course, that when he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like. 

"When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is a positive player for our tour, and I want my tour bigger, not smaller.

"So the players who make the tour bigger are important for the tour. When he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion, is one of these guys. When he's doing the other stuff, of course I don't like."

Nadal produced a breathtaking and efficient display of tennis against Davis Cup team-mate Carreno Busta, hitting 42 winners and just seven unforced errors under the Melbourne sun.

The four-time Australian Open runner-up needed just one hour, 38 minutes to reach the last 16 of a slam for the 47th time in his career.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days," Nadal said. "I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand. Hitting serve on one shot, I think."

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