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    Brace for fireworks as Nadal, Kyrgios cross paths in Australian Open

    Jan 26, 2020

    ALL the ingredients are there for a classic fourth-round match between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at night on Rod Laver Arena.

    Their matches are always close, Nadal leads 4-3 in career head-to-heads, and they're 1-1 in Grand Slam matches. Kyrgios staged the biggest of upsets the first time they met at Wimbledon in 2014, when the then 19-year-old Aussie upset Nadal in the fourth round in five sets.

    Last year at Wimbledon, Nadal returned the favor in four sets in the second round.

    And they don't really have a lot of love for each other off the court. Kyrgios has criticized Nadal for taking too long as he prepares to serve, and even mocked the 19-time major winner's pre-serve routine.

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    Nadal doesn't like Kyrgios' antics with umpires and others. Nadal says Kyrgios is fine when “he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion,” but “when he's doing the other stuff, of course I don't like.”

    Kyrgios, who was taken to five tough sets in his third-round win over Karen Khachanov, wasn't buying into any inflammatory pre-match comments.

    "I don't really dislike him," Kyrgios said. "Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's OK."


      Other men's fourth-round matches have Gael Monfils playing Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev vs. Stan Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev playing Andrey Rublev, who is on a 15-match winning streak.

      On the women's side, fourth-seeded Simona Halep, who is the highest seed remaining in her half of the draw, plays Elise Mertens. Two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza is playing Kiki Bertens, and Anett Kontaveit is against Iga Swiatek.

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      PHOTO: AP
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