Nick Kyrgios pulled off the upset against Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal round of the BNP Paribas Open 2017 in Indian Wells, California. The controversial Australian pro is now 2-0 against the World No. 2 in their head-to-head matches.
Kyrgios beat Djokovic in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to advance to the semifinal round where he will meet Roger Federer. The Swiss Maestro beat rival Rafael Nadal in his own QF match.
Kyrgios beat Djokovic in California
This was the second straight win for Kyrgios over Djokovic in the last two weeks. Kyrgios beat the Serbian, 7-6 (9), 7-5 in Acapulco, Mexico also in the quarterfinals. Kyrgios and Djokovic have only met twice in their head-to-head series so the Australian remains perfect against Djokovic, who has struggled with his play the last few months.
Djokovic was eliminated in the Round of 64 in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia last January. The Serbian fell to 117th ranked Denis Istomin in five sets, 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 4-6.
Djokovic said after the loss that the Australian is capable of being an elite level player. He stated the Kyrgios’ commitment would decide if he can rise to the top of the list of the ATP rankings.
“Undoubtedly he’s capable of a lot of big things. That was projected for him already a couple of years back. He’s not very consistent with his results, but he’s coming closer to the Top 10,” Djokovic stated via the tournament’s official website.
“He had his best year last year, so things are coming together for him. There is no doubt that he has a big game, and that game that he has can and should be for a Top 10, Top 5 player. So it just depends on him and his commitment to the sport.”
Kyrgios remains one of the promising prospects in tennis. But on and off the court controversies have placed him as one of the polarizing players in the ATP Tour. But the Australian has real talent to keep up with the elite players in the sport, as shown by his 2-0 record against Djokovic.
Serbian all praises for Kyrgios’ playing style
Djokovic was impressed with Krygios’ playing style. He described the Australian’s game as very aggressive and something difficult to stop.
“He obviously comes out playing his style, very aggressive, and just going for every serve, whether it’s first or second. It’s obviously very hard to play like that,” Djokovic added.
“There are not many players like him on the tour,” he added. “He plays a certain way, and talks and behaves a certain way, which is characteristic for him. Obviously, it works.”
Nick Kyrgios will have a chance to prove he belongs with the elite players in tennis in the next round. Another win over top player Roger Federer means that Kyrgios will advance to the final and be considered one of the rising stars in the sport.
Photo Courtesy: Kate/Flickr