World number 21 Nick Kyrgios made the winning season opener after a hard-fought 6-7 7-6 6-2 triumph over Matthew Ebden in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Nick was bothered by a knee injury but he managed to overcome the problems and a stern test from his rival to reach the quarter-final, playing better and better as the match progressed.
Kyrgios never lost his serve, saving both break points he faced, and he broke Ebden twice in the final set to bring the match home in style, losing just 3 points in his last 3 service games. Matthew had to play against break points in the very first service game, fending off both to bypass the troubles and gain a necessary momentum before the rest of the match.
Both players served well in the remaining 11 games, with just 1 deuce on Nick's serve and no break points, and it had to be decided in the tie break. Ebden won all 5 points on his serve and he earned 3 set points with a service winner, moving 6-3 ahead.
He needed only the first to wrap up the breaker by 7-3 and take an early lead, moving a set away from the place in the quarters. Nick continued to serve well in set number 2 as well and he could bring it home before the tie break, creating 2 break points in game 8.
Matthew repelled them with a service winner and a nice forehand attack, sending the set into another tie break after good holds on both sides in the last 4 games. This time it was Kyrgios who played with more focus and stamina, opening a 6-4 lead with a forehand down the line winner and converting second set point with another solid forehand attack to send the encounter into a decider.
Nothing could separate the players so far and they had to keep the level high in the final set, with no room for errors. Nick fends off 2 break points in the second game with service winners and that turned to be the pivotal moment of the entire clash, as he broke in the next game to take a 2-1 lead.
Better-ranked player offered nothing in his service games until the end of the match and he cemented his triumph with a break at 15 in game 7, placing a stunning backhand winner that sealed Ebden's fate in this match.
Kyrgios blasted an ace down the T line to wrap up his triumph in game 8, moving to the last 8 where he will face Alexandr Dolgopolov. An 18-year-old Alex De Minaur took down the 2016 champion Milos Raonic by 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 34 minutes for his first ATP quarter-final. Canadian struggled with injuries in the last season and he couldn't find the right rhythm in his first match of the year, facing 10 break points and losing serve 3 times.
On the other hand, young Aussie kept the scoreboard under control, saving 5 out of 6 break points to notch his biggest triumph in a career so far in front of the home crowd. An 18-year-old Alex De Minaur took down 2016 champion Milos Raonic by 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 34 minutes for his first ATP quarter-final.
Canadian struggled with injuries in the last season and he couldn't find the right rhythm in his first match of the year, facing 10 break points and losing serve 3 times. On the other hand, young Aussie kept the scoreboard under control, saving 5 out of 6 break points to notch his biggest triumph in a career so far in front of the home crowd, 12 months after his ATP debut here in Brisbane.
Alex returned almost like the player from the very top of the game, keeping the rusty opponent on just 9 aces and winning almost 40% of the return points to earn those 10 break points. On the other hand, De Minaur controlled the rallies, staying away from unforced errors, and he also repelled 5 out of 6 break points to limit the damage in his games and keep the pressure on the Canadian.
Raonic was off to a good start but he got broken in game 3 after a backhand down the line winner from De Minaur that made the crowd erupting in joy. The youngster faced a stern test in the 6th game, with 3 break points to play against.
In a manner of more experienced player, he saved them all with brave shots and winners, moving 4-2 in front and building an even bigger impulse. Serving for the first set in the 10th game, Alex fired 4 service winners to grab it by 6-4 in 44 minutes, hoping for a similar performance in set number 2.
Things went from bad to worse for Raonic, playing with no rhythm in his games and unable to impose his shots or earn free points from his initial stroke. He saved 2 break points in the first game and then again in the third before Alex finally got the break in game 5 when Milos netted an easy forehand.
Another forehand error cost Canadian his service game again in game 7 and De Minaur could smell the victory, the biggest one in his young career. Serving for the win, Alex lost his serve for the first time but he had another chance to clinch the win in game 10, bringing it home with a hold at love that propelled him to the last 8 where he will face another youngster Michael Mmoh.
World number 175 Michael Mmoh came to Brisbane with no ATP wins in 7 matches, and he did a great job to qualify for the main draw here at first place. American used his opportunity with both hands and he will play in his first ATP quarter-final after a 6-2 5-7 6-4 win over the 8th seed Mischa Zverev in 2 hours and 32 minutes. 19-year-old hit 12 aces and saved 6 out of 8 break points to edge his opponents, winning just 4 points more than German.
Also, he managed to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the decider, rattling off 5 out of the last 6 games to grab the win and move into the last 8 where he will face another young gun Alex De Minaur. Mischa was the more dangerous player in the first half of the opener, settling into a nice rhythm on his serve and creating 2 break points in games 1 and 3.
Michael saved them to seize the momentum and he dominated in the rest of the set, winning the last 4 games to cap the set by 6-2, breaking Zverev in games 6 and 8. Despite serving at 48%, German recovered his game in set number 2, losing 3 points on serve and waiting for a chance on the return patiently.
He got it in game 11 when he moved 6-5 in front and the set was his a few minutes later, winning 12 of the last 14 points to send the encounter into a decider. He saved a break point at the start of the final set and it looked he will emerge as a winner when he took Mmoh's serve in game 3, opening a 3-1 lead.
Michael saved another break point in game 5 and that was the crucial moment of the match, as he broke back at 15 in the very next game to level the score at 3-3 instead of a 4-1 deficit. Young American claimed another break of serve in game 10 and that pushed him over the finish line, closing the match with a return winner and booking the place in the last 8.
Second round results: