kyrgios: Tsitsipas takes on Kyrgios in Wimbledon blockbuster

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Nick Kyrgios has Stefanos Tsitsipas in his sights in a blockbuster Wimbledon clash on Saturday, with the winner likely to be the main obstacle on Rafael Nadal’s path to the final.

Greece’s fourth seed Tsitsipas is the only other top-10 player left in Nadal’s side, while fiery Australian Kyrgios is a match for anyone in his day.

Tsitsipas’ confidence is sky high after winning his maiden title on grass in Mallorca last week, but he faces a man he has beaten just once in their four meetings.

Kyrgios, who came into his own when the pair met in Halle last month, has been making waves at Wimbledon on and off the court.

His first win against Britain’s Paul Jubb was marred by his admission that he spat at fans, whom he accused of being disrespectful, and also targeted officials.

The 27-year-old, who was fined $10,000 for Tuesday’s incidents, was also in a bad mood during his post-match press conferences, but he remains optimistic.

“I just feel good about myself,” the 40th-ranked player said after his straight-set win over Filip Krajinovic.

“Some people just love tearing me down. It’s just not possible anymore.”

Tsitsipas, who reached the fourth round in 2018, said he was “delighted” to face Kyrgios, who beat Nadal en route to the quarter-finals in 2014.

“I respect him a lot, on the pitch, what he tries to do,” he said. “Although he’s been a bit controversial in the past, I think he’s playing good tennis.”

A win for Kyrgios would give him a season-leading 10th win on grass this season.

Second-seeded Nadal, chasing a Grand Slam on the calendar, is aware he has yet to reach the heights of the All England Club after two disjointed performances so far.

“I haven’t played much on grass in three years,” the 22-time Grand Slam winner said after his four-set victory over Ricardas Berankis.

“It gives me the chance to continue, so I’m very happy for that.

“I have to improve. I have to keep working, to be humble, even when things are not going well.”

Australian 19th seed Alex De Minaur beat British joker Liam Broady 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 and will face Chilean Cristian Garin in the last 16.

Dutch 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp rose to the challenge of French veteran Richard Gasquet in four sets.

– Tan progresses – In the women’s competition, Harmony Tan, who knocked out Serena Williams in the first round, demolished British wild card Katie Boulter 6-1, 6-1 in just 51 minutes to reach the fourth round.

The 24-year-old French player broke Boulter five times in a dominant display to disappoint the crowd on Court Two.

“I think I like weed,” said Tan, ranked 115th in the world. “I never play on this court but I like to play with slice and volley and everything with my game so I’m really happy.

“It was really emotional for the first round against Serena and after that it was just game by game and today it was really good tennis. I don’t know why but it depends on the day.”

Tan will next face 20th seed Amanda Anisimova, who came from behind to beat French Open runner-up Coco Gauff 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1 in an all-American tie.

Simona Halep, the 2019 champion, advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Magdalena Frech.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is aiming for a 38th straight win over unseeded French veteran Alize Cornet.

The Polish seed, who was asked if her winning streak had given her confidence, said it hadn’t crossed her mind while she was playing games.

“I’m just trying to figure out what to do better and how to somehow come back,” she said. “So it doesn’t really matter to me.”

Fourth seed Paula Badosa takes on two-time champion Petra Kvitova in one of the most eye-catching matches of the third round.

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