Kyrgios out of Australian Open after four-set fight in front of home crowd

After Nick Kyrgios dropped the first two sets to Grigor Dimitrov in their tense, back-and-forth fourth-round match at the Australian Open, a spectator called out to him as he dejectedly walked back to the service line, "Pick your head up."

Kyrgios literally did lift his head for a moment, generating a laugh from the packed Rod Laver Arena audience.

He also picked up his spirits — and his game — and slowly clawed his way back into the match.

As tends to be the case with Kyrgios, however, his focus soon wavered.

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov celebrates after defeating United States' Mackenzie McDonald in their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov celebrates after defeating United States' Mackenzie McDonald in their second round match at the Australian Open Source: Associated Press

Dimitrov won the match 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4) and Kyrgios was left searching, yet again, for a solution to whatever is holding him back from contending for major titles.

Kyrgios has long been touted as a multiple Grand Slam winner and potential future No. 1, but the 22-year-old is still struggling to get closer to the top.

In fact, his results in recent years are moving in the wrong direction.

He's only reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals in his career, and the last came at the Australian Open three years ago. He's lost before the fourth round in nine of the last 12 majors.

Despite falling short on Sunday, however, Kyrgios was upbeat in defeat, believing he's still a work in progress.

"I feel confident after losing that match. I gave my best efforts this week. I came up short. I beat three quality opponents," he said.

"I lost tonight to one of the best players in the world. Went down swinging. Obviously I feel a lot better this time around.

"Last year I really didn't know what I was going to do after the Australian Open. I feel like I have more of a vision and goal for this year. I think I'm in a good head space."

Nick Kyrgios serves


Players criticise sweltering conditions at Australian Open as temp hovers at 40 degrees

Some weary players sat shirtless on changeovers, ice-filled towels draped around their necks. Others retreated to any bit of shade they could find on court and sought treatment for blistered feet and heat stress.

Temperatures soared to 40 degrees as the start of an expected heat wave hit the Australian Open on Thursday, bringing misery to players unfortunate enough to have their matches scheduled during the day session and keeping many spectators away.

"I didn't expect to play this kind of match," a thoroughly exhausted Juan Martin del Potro said after beating Karen Khachanov in a nearly four-hour, second-round match.

The ASB Classic tournament second seed took time out to sign autographs and pose for photos. Source: 1 NEWS

"I prefer to watch on TV. Or stay on the beach, drinking some beer."

Scorching temperatures are common at the Australian Open — so much so the tournament has an extreme heat policy that allows for the referee to close the roofs on the three main show courts and suspend play on the outer courts when temperatures surpass 40 Celsius.

Gael Monfils staggered through a good portion of his second-round match against Novak Djokovic, bending over repeatedly to catch his breath between points and at one stage returning to the comfort of his shaded chair without even attempting to return Djokovic's serve.

Afterwards, he called the conditions "risky" for the players, especially with the new rule restricting the time between points to 25 seconds.

"I get super dizzy. I think I have a small heat stroke for 40 minutes," said Monfils, who is considered one of the fittest players on tour.

"At that time, the officials have to make a move. Maybe wait a little bit, whatever, five minutes between the set. Maybe they have to do small adjustment."

Djokovic agreed, describing the conditions "brutal" and some of the toughest he's ever played in.

"There are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognise that you might need to give players few extra hours until (the temperature) comes down," he said.

"I understand there is a factor of tickets. If you don't play matches, people will be unhappy."

But he said the conditions were at the point where it becomes a "danger in terms of health."



'Are you a witch or a vampire?' Ron Burgundy interviews Roger Federer, and the results are predictably hilarious

Roger Federer has endured an interview like no other – being grilled courtside by Ron Burgundy.

After the Swiss maestro beat Aljaz Bedene in straight sets at the Australian Open last night, he took part in the traditional courtside interview.

Rather than being quizzed by John McEnroe, however, it was Anchorman star Will Ferrell who did the honours.

His bizarre line of questioning had Federer and the crowd in stitches, including wondering if the 36-year-old's longevity was because he was a "witch or a vampire".

Federer was also forced to deny he ate wombat meat.