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The Tour – Food Court: Kyrgios On Love For Sushi & His Cooking Skills

  • Posted: Jan 27, 2022

Sushi with a little romance on the side? Nick Kyrgios dishes on his pre-match meal, why he doesn’t’ eat before matches and what he’s throwing on the grill if he invited you around for dinner…

Go-to meal the night before a match?
Sushi is a good one for me; you get some carbohydrates with the rice, and you can monitor what you’ve had pretty easily. I like sushi because it’s kind of like an event: You go with your friends, your girlfriend or your partner, and it comes out on cute little plates, in cute little pieces, soy sauce, couple of giggles here or there. It’s romantic, so… sushi.

You’re having friends or family around for dinner, what are you cooking for them?
I’m a big fan of stir-fry noodles, they’re like my staple diet. I would probably buy some fresh Atlantic salmon and cut it into slices, maybe for some sashimi or chuck it on the grill. I can also make some good salads, so I’d chop up a couple of salads, mix it in, olive oil, lemon, all that type of stuff.

How do you rate your skills in the kitchen?
I’m actually pretty good, I’m pretty good in the kitchen. I’m a hubby, you know what I mean? I can whip up some good meals.

How long before a match would you eat?
If I’m playing in the afternoon or morning, I won’t eat before I play, I’ll just have a coffee and get out there. I don’t eat too much, and on match days I don’t eat much at all.

Your brother Christos is a pretty fit guy. Does he help you with your diet?
He’s definitely very helpful and supportive with my diet. Very good cook; he can cook an amazing amount of food and very good quality. But I feel in general I’m actually pretty good. I don’t eat meat and try not to eat dairy at all, so my diet in general is actually something I take pride in, I feel like I eat pretty good. My brother’s a meat-eater, I’m not.

Is there anything you eat on the court during a match?
Yes, I eat a lot of bananas.

Grigor [Dimitrov] said he hates bananas…
Yeah, I know, but it’s the one thing you can get quick energy from. It doesn’t taste too bad, but Grigor… if I had that rig, I would not be wearing a shirt often, I’ll tell you that much.

If you go to a restaurant, what are you ordering? Any restaurant.
I like a good piece of salmon, cooked medium-rare, maybe some asparagus on the side, just a nice clean meal. And I love oysters, oysters are like my thing. Fun fact for you, oysters are an aphrodisiac, so… it’s where it starts.

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Kyrgios, Kokkinakis Set All-Aussie Doubles Final

  • Posted: Jan 27, 2022

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!


The Australian Open men’s doubles final will be an all-Australian affair, after semi-final wins from Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell. The unseeded finalists upset the third and second seeds, respectively, on Thursday in Melbourne.


Kyrgios and Kokkinakis delighted a packed Rod Laver Arena by knocking off Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers, 7-6(4), 6-4. Playing at the same time on Margaret Court Arena, their compatriots upset 2020 AO champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-3, 7-6(9).


In a charged atmosphere in Laver, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis—neither of whom had previously been beyond the third round in doubles at a Slam—delighted a packed crowd with a victory full of substance and style.


“I’ve played a lot of singles matches around the globe with amazing atmospheres,” Kyrgios reflected in the on-court interview. “This week with Thanasi, playing in front of you, nothing beats this. This is insane.”


There were no break points and just one deuce in the opening set. A classy behind-the-back stab from Granollers helped drag the second seeds level from 40/0 on the Kyrgios serve, but the Aussies held firm.


A Kyrgios tweener backfired on set point at 6/4 in the tie-break, but a big serve from the crowd favourite put the hammer down for the set.


With the atmosphere nearing fever pitch, the Aussies won the first seven points of the second stanza to create a 0/40 opening on the Granollers serve. The third seeds got back to deuce, but back-to-back Kokkinakis winners—one off each baseline wing—produced the match’s first break of serve.


The third seeds clawed back from 4-1 to 4-4 in the set, but Granollers was broken again to concede the match. It was bedlam when a Kokkinakis topspin lob dropped in, with Kyrgios sprinting to his partner and the pair dropping to the court in celebration.


“When we come out here, it’s all about the crowd, the atmosphere,” Kokkinakis added. “That gets us going. We worry about the tennis second. Playing in front of you guys brings the best out of us, honestly. I don’t know if we’d have this result anywhere else. It’s sick.”


The duo have gone through the first, 15th, sixth and third seeds en route to the title round, while Ebden-Purcell have dismissed the fourth, 13th, 10th and second seeds.


The Margaret Court Arena contest was a rematch of the 2021 US Open quarter-finals, where eventual champions Ram and Salisbury saved four match points and advanced by the slimmest possible margin, 7-6(7), 6-7(6), 7-6(10).


“I didn’t sleep that well the next couple weeks after that, so I’m just glad we got our revenge,” Ebden said post-match. “We thought, ‘It’s our home Slam, our court. We’re Australians.’ And the crowd made a difference yesterday and today… To go through to the finals here is a dream.”


There were no breaks of serve in their US Open meeting, but Ebden-Purcell broke twice in the opening set on Thursday, taking the third and ninth games on break-point double faults from Ram, then Salisbury. There were no break chances for either side in the second, with all the drama saved for the tie-break.


Finishing just before their compatriots in Laver, the Aussies saved four set points and clinched victory on their second match point in the 11-9 tie-break.


“It was a strange one seeing that we broke them in the third game today,” added Purcell. “They definitely lifted their level in the second set, but credit to us. We hung in there in the end. I helped Matty out a little bit when I needed to, and he helped me out when he needed to, and we got through.”


It’s the 23-year-old Purcell’s second career major doubles final. He reached the 2020 Australian Open final alongside Aussie Luke Saville, before losing to Ram and Salisbury. Ebden, 34, had not been beyond the quarter-finals in 29 previous men’s doubles major appearances. He has gone all the way in mixed doubles, winning the 2013 AO title with compatriot Jarmila Gajdosova and reaching the final last year in Australia.


One year ago, the partners were on opposite sides of the net in the Australian Open second round, where Ebden and John-Patrick Smith won an all-Aussie match against Purcell and Saville.


The men’s doubles title match is set for Saturday night in Melbourne, giving both teams a day off for their final preparations.

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Gilbert Breaks Down Berrettini-Nadal Australian Open Showdown

  • Posted: Jan 27, 2022

Australian Open semi-final foes Matteo Berrettini and Rafael Nadal have clashed before. Coincidentally, that match, a straight-sets victory for Nadal at the 2019 US Open, also came in a major semi-final. But according to former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert, plenty has changed since then.

“I think at that point, it was kind of a big surprise for Berrettini to have been there. Now he’s a different guy,” Gilbert told “This is his fourth straight Slam in the quarter-finals, he’s been to a final and he’s a much more confident player.”

During his breakthrough run at Flushing Meadows in 2019, Berrettini was the No. 25 player in the ATP Rankings. He had only cracked the Top 100 18 months earlier.

Now, the 25-year-old is a Top 10 powerhouse who has competed in the Nitto ATP Finals twice and reached his first major final at Wimbledon last year. On the other hand, Nadal is playing just his second tournament since August of last year due to a foot injury.

Will the Italian be able to spring the upset and halt Nadal’s pursuit of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title?

Gilbert, who has coached the likes of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, believes Nadal has not played a server like Berrettini through five rounds. In the quarter-finals, the Spaniard battled past Denis Shapovalov in five sets.

“I thought he played very solid to get to the quarters and he was literally seven minutes from beating Denis 3, 4 and 3. He missed an easy pass at 3-all 15/40, a forehand up the line that he makes 99 out of 100 [times],” Gilbert said. “If he breaks there, that match is not complicated and he’s going into the semis totally unscathed. How does he recover physically?”

SF Preview Nadal-Berrettini

Nadal admitted to dealing with stomach issues during his win against the Canadian, which was played in the gruelling Melbourne heat. But it is important to note Berrettini and Nadal played their quarter-final on Tuesday, giving them both two days off.

“When [Rafa] had to, he did what he needed to do. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever seen Rafa do,” Gilbert said. “You don’t ever have to see Rafa manage himself and that was a beautiful thing to see, him managing himself through a little bit of a heat issue.

“He’s fitter than a fiddle, but it can happen. Normally when it happens, if you’re not prepared for it, you can have trouble. But he had to manage himself.”

Although Gilbert said that Shapovalov’s highs might even be higher than Berrettini’s, he added the Italian does not dip as often and plays more of a “big-man’s game” with his massive serve and huge forehand.

“His game is all based on surf and turf. That’s what wins it for him. If he’s going to win, he’s bombing serves, bombing first-ball forehands, taking control,” Gilbert said. “If Rafa gets on offence and can make him work, it’s trouble. That’s what he did at the US Open, he broke down the backhand. But if that guy is serving the way he can serve, he serves big. But you don’t know how much energy he’s expended.”

Berrettini also needed five sets in the quarter-finals, in which he clawed past Frenchman Gael Monfils. He was also extended to a fourth set in his first two matches and a fifth-set tie-break in the third round against reigning Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion Carlos Alcaraz.

Is the easy answer that Nadal will immediately try to attack the Italian’s backhand and grind him down from there? Gilbert said it is not necessarily that easy.

“When a guy has a monster forehand, you want to be able to take him hard and fast to the forehand because he’s always looking to be on the backhand side of the court hitting forehands,” Gilbert said. “The ultimate goal is to be able to take him hard and fast to the forehand to open up more space to the backhand.”

Who will advance to the final to face Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas? Gilbert is hoping for a five-setter, and he feels Nadal is a “one-point favourite”.

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Gilbert: Why Medvedev-Tsitsipas SF Is A 'Totally Different Matchup'

  • Posted: Jan 27, 2022

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas could not have taken more different paths through their respective Australian Open quarter-final. Medvedev had to claw back from two sets down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime, while Tsitsipas cruised past Jannik Sinner in straight sets.

But according to former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert, it is important to keep in mind that Medvedev plays a completely different game than Sinner.

“It’s a totally different matchup. Tsitsipas will try to come forward, Medvedev will defend. Each one of these matches, it’s a completely different matchup,” Gilbert told “And when it’s a different matchup, sometimes you act differently. You change tactics, you have to do things differently.

“If Tsitsipas plays as well as he did against Sinner, he’s going to have a great shot. But it’s a different type of player, different type of rhythm. Medvedev is a three-and-a-half point favourite.”

Medvedev leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 6-2, including victories in their first five tour-level meetings. But compared to last year’s Australian Open semi-finals, in which Medvedev beat Tsitsipas in straight sets, the circumstances are different.

In 2021, Tsitsipas entered their clash on the back of a gruelling five-setter against Rafael Nadal, while Medvedev won his quarter-final against Andrey Rublev in straight sets.

“[It is] a completely different situation. Medvedev came in cruising in the semi and Tsitsipas won a battle against Rafa,” Gilbert said. “Fast forward a year, Medvedev won a battle and Tsitsipas rolled, so that script flipped.”

The Tsitsipas-Sinner showdown was a meeting between two offensive-minded players who try to get on top of the point. Sinner stays on top of the baseline and tries to blast through his opponents. Medvedev, however, brings a different skillset to the court.

“You’re talking about a guy who plays the best defence on Tour. Sinner doesn’t play nearly as good on defence as Medvedev,” Gilbert said. “[Tsitsipas] didn’t have to press and was hitting beautifully. But maybe all of a sudden that same ball that was getting by Sinner might not get by Medvedev and then maybe he presses and misses. Those are the variables that are different.”

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas

Medvedev is two wins from a historic achievement. No man in the Open Era has won his first major title and then claimed his second in the next Grand Slam. The Russian, who triumphed at last year’s US Open, is trying to do just that. Nadal, who is playing Matteo Berrettini in the other semi-final, is chasing a record-breaking 21st major trophy.

“Everybody gets ahead thinking about it. When you’re in these guys’ shoes, all you’re thinking about is the opponent you’re playing. That’s it,” Gilbert said. “And then when you play the next opponent, you figure out the gameplan for that opponent. That’s what the coach is trying to do, keep it simple, focus on Tsitsipas and that’s it, whether you’re the favourite or not. That’s the matchup.”

Tsitsipas’ first major breakthrough came at the Australian Open in 2019, when he made the last four just months after lifting the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals trophy. This is now the third straight year he has made it this far at Melbourne Park.

“He plays better on this court than anywhere else. It’s the third straight year he’s in the semis. I think what’s going to be crucial for him are his return of serve, because I thought the two best areas of his game against Sinner were his return and backhand,” Gilbert said. “They were on point, and I think that will be crucial for him again against Medvedev.”

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