Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios met twice in a couple of weeks in 2017. The young Aussie knocked out a higher-ranked rival in Acapulco and Indian Wells for a perfect start to their rivalry that has been on hold for the previous five years.
With a solid win in Acapulco, Nick picked up momentum and produced another in the fourth round of Indian Wells to set up the quarter-final clash against Roger Federer. The Australian won 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 52 minutes, with 14 aces and seven points more than the Serbian.
Thus, the five-time Indian Wells champion experienced the first loss in the desert since 2013 and failed to chase the fourth consecutive title in the first Masters 1000 event of the season. Kyrgios gave up 19 points in 11 service games and never faced a break point after a decent second serve performance.
In fact, Djokovic only got to a deuce on the return, at 5-4 in the second set. Novak fended off four of five break chances and gave his best in the second set before hitting the tee shot in the tie break. In the previous round, Djokovic's backhand worked well against Juan Martin Del Potro, but it did not work well against Kyrgios.
The Serb made 25 unforced errors, while the Australian dominated his strokes well and finished with 25 winners and 19 unforced errors. Nick won plenty of free points on his serve and groundstroke first to build a 55-42 lead from the shortest range to four shots.
Waske pays tribute to Roger Federer
Former tennis player Alexander Waske recently lavished praise on Roger Federer for staying authentic despite garnering fame and success. "In my eyes, you're the greatest when you're not just successful but have changed the entire game.
Roger Federer did that impressively. His elegance and playing style didn't exist before, plus this down-to-earth attitude. I have the utmost respect for him, not only as a player but also as a person," Waske said. "Roger doesn't care if the camera is on or not.
He is the way he is, friendly and not only nice to the people who are in important positions. Looking ahead to the rest of his career, I hope he doesn't end his career on sick leave. That would certainly be a defeat for him.
I wish it would boot up again and flash all its magic," Waske said. "For him, it's about leaving the tennis court with dignity and playing."