Kyrgios into 18s semis
A warm-up seemed hardly necessary as twhen the 18s quarterfinal contest between Nicholas Kyrgios and Blake Mott got underway writes Alana Mitchelson.
A warm-up seemed hardly necessary as the heat already hung heavily in the air at 11:30 am when the 18s quarterfinal contest between Nicholas Kyrgios and Blake Mott got underway.
You could almost taste the intense pressure levels in the air as the boys collected themselves before the match’s commencement.
Nerves were high and both boys attempted to shrug them off, but both had their moments before settling into the rhythm of the match.
Seventeen-year-old Kyrgios from the ACT, however, wasted no time in pulling out two consecutive, fierce aces to hold service 1-1.
Kyrgios talked himself up throughout the match letting out a fairly heated, “Why am I playing like this? There is so much riding on this!” following a few unforced errors and a point where his ball fell long of the baseline.
During the first set, the boys exhibited some intense rallies showcasing consistent, crosscourt groundstrokes mixed with volleys, the ball progressively gaining more and more spin and momentum as each point went on.
Kyrgios made the most of his opportunities to put away quick points and appeared to be in physically better form than his opponent, however, it became apparent that Mott’s admirable ability to maintain composure and control his attitude had the potential to see him take command of the match.
Kyrgios ran Mott up and down the court, the incredible spin on his serve sending balls veering into the far corners of the court just out of Mott’s reach, pushing Mott to his limits.
This fine play was reflected on the scoreboard as the first set came to a close 6-3.
Mott changed into a new shirt, starting fresh for the second set but Kyrgios’ aggressive play continued as he set up the points for killer smashes.
Not even a few disputes with the umpire could break Blake Mott’s composed demeanour, which he maintained throughout the entirety of the match and he gave the immediate next point his all, taking the game to deuce as though this frustration drove him to prove himself at that moment more than ever.
Kyrgios continued to release a string of aces and he rather masterfully deflected Mott’s powerful groundstrokes.
Kyrgios found himself in dispute with the umpire on more than one occasion throughout the second set but unlike his apparently calm, focused opponent, found it impossible to withhold his frustration with the umpire’s calls and perhaps lost some concentration on the game at hand.
Blake Mott remarkably did not allow these outbursts to significantly stir his play.
The intensity of the match drew the attention of the crowd who huddled in a shaded corner at the side of the court.
Continued arguments regarding calls led to Kyrgios receiving a warning after pounding a ball into the fence with full force in between games at 5-5.
Blake Mott carried on with his fiery play and driving forehand but it was Kyrgios who prevailed 6-3 7-5 to proceed to the semifinals.
“I just tried to not expend my energy by yelling and stuff, which sort of got out of hand at the end because I was nervous and sometimes you’ve got to outburst in some way,” Kyrgios explained after the match.
Kyrgios says he will focus on his service game moving forwards as he always seems to possess a hurling ace hidden somewhere up his sleeve.
“I’m just going to concentrate on my serves, it seems to be my strength, and always has been so if I serve well, stay calm and just dictate the play then I’ve got a good shot.”
When asked how much tennis means to him, Kyrgios had to pause for a deep breath before responding.
“It’s everything. Obviously when I’m getting angry out there, outbursts and everything, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I think I care a little bit too much. I sort of expect a little bit too much out of myself.”
Out on court five, an ecstatic Bradley Mousley sent the ball soaring high up in the air in celebration after his 6-4 6-4 victory over Victorian Omar Jasika.
“I’ve just got to stay positive,” Mousley said.
“I play my best tennis when I’m positive and if I have a good attitude the rest all falls together by itself really.”
Jay Andrijic’s strong service game led him to a 6-2 6-1 defeat of Akira Santillan and South Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis prevailed over Marc Polmans 6-2 6-4.
You can check updated results, draws and the order of play here.