The stage is set for the ultimate showdown between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios ahead of the Australian Open! Novak and Nick were eager to arrange an exhibition match ahead of the season’s first Major, and the organizers set the duel at Rod Laver Arena.
The tickets go for $20, and all proceeds will go to charity. Kyrgios has been battling an ankle injury, missing the United Cup and Adelaide but doing his best to prepare for the home Major. Djokovic and Kyrgios did not meet at the World Tennis League in Dubai, and will fix that in Melbourne in a couple of days.
Novak and Nick were the rivals in the last year’s Wimbledon final, with the Serb prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 for his seventh Wimbledon crown. Novak saved five out of six break points and broke Nick for the first time in a career in the second set to start his comeback.
There were no break chances in the fourth set, and the defending champion claimed it in the tie break to seal the deal and lift the trophy. Nick made a perfect start and grabbed the opener 6-4 in swift 31 minutes. Both players served over 70%, and the returners claimed 12 points in ten games.
Nick clinched seven and converted them into the desired break that carried him in front. He broke Novak at 2-2 after the Serb’s double fault and held after deuce in game ten with an ace down the T line for 6-4. Novak pushed hard on the return at 2-1 in the second set and created three break points with a backhand crosscourt winner.
He seized the first after a lucky net cord winner for a massive 3-1 lead.
Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic will compete in Melbourne on Friday.
Djokovic served for the set at 5-3 and found himself 40-0 behind after a couple of loose strokes.
Novak stayed calm, denied four break points and fired a service winner on a set point to lock the overall result after 70 minutes. With a boost on his side, Djokovic controlled the pace in set number three, losing six points behind the initial shot and securing a late break.
Kyrgios squandered a 40-15 lead in game five before wrapping it up after a deuce. The Aussie received a warning for swearing after being interrupted by someone from the crowd, but he still held and stayed in touch. Djokovic created a break chance after Kyrgios’ double fault at 4-4, and Nick netted a backhand to fall behind.
Novak held at 30 in game ten to secure the set and move closer to the finish line. Both players served well in the fourth set’s opening ten games. Kyrgios closed the 11th game with an ace, and Djokovic served to stay in the set for the second time.
He produced another fine hold to lock the result at 6-6 and introduce a tie break. Novak opened a 2-0 lead with a volley winner and grabbed two more mini-breaks for a 4-1 advantage. The Serb claimed an extended rally to earn five match points at 5-1.
The Aussie saved the first with a forehand winner at the net and fired his 30th ace for 3-6. Novak seized the third match point after the rival’s backhand error to start a massive celebration of his 21st Major crown.