Kyrgios serves out to 30, and that’s the second set! He leads Garin 6-4 6-3 and has racked up that advantage without extending himself physically or mentally.
Oh yes! 0-15 down and with Fritz running down a drop, Nadal finds a sensational lob down the line when he looked to have lost control of the rally. This is a really good contest, and after hitting down the line to Nadal’s forehand – you don’t want to do that, as he learns when pursuing the inevitable cross-court winner –Fritz does well in closing to 30-40. But Nadal ups the service power and hangs on for 6-5 while, on No1, Kyrgios is serving for the set at 5-3.
At 15-all, Fritz slings down a double – we end up at 30-all and his nerves will be jangling – while a lazy drop from Kyrgios hands Garin a break point. But the serve saves him, yet again, a bosh down the T followed by two more big serves for 6-4 5-2, while Fritz quickly closes out for 6-3 5-5.
Fritz quickly levels the set at 4-4, but Nadal seems to be feeling more like himself, rushing through one of his own. They’ll have a little sit-down, then Fritz will serve to stay in the second set.
Tempted though he might be, Garin isn’t giving up, and he makes 30-40 only for Kyrgios’ forehand to take over. He wins three straight points, leads 4-1, and Nadal returns on Centre so we’re off again with Fritz leading 6-3 3-4.
Nadal has taken a medical timeout, and given the nature of the injury is being treated off court. In co-comms, Feliciano Lopez thinks this might be it and he’s got a better angle on this than I do – but let’s hope not.
Garin is under pressure on nearly every point, and 0-30 down, he nets weakly, then loses a net exchange comprehensively, Kyrgios digging out a drop and sending it across the face of the net for a winner. He now leads 6-4 3-1 and looks a cert for the semis, probably in short order.
Ach, Nadal has the trainer out for an abdominal situation.
As Nadal struggles to retrieve a drop, in commentary they wonder if he’s struggling with the chronic foot condition that’s afflicted him throughout his career. But at 30-40, he digs out a typically brilliant hooked forehand, then opens up to spank another forehand winner, inside-out this time, closes out, and that’s 3-6 4-3. If Fritz can stay on him, he’s got a real chance here.
Garin is struggling here, and with advantage, Kyrgios looks in control of the next rally. But he nets a backhand and Garin closes out; he really really needed that. 1-1 second set, first to Kyrgios.
On the cusp of a simple hold, consecutive errors from Fritz take us from 40-15 to deuce. But a big serve and a shanked return quickly mitigate his largesse, and we’re 3-3 in the second.
Garin forces Kyrgios to deuce at the start of set two, but nets a hopeful drop when prolonging the rally might’ve served him better. Garin 4-6 0-1 Kyrgios
Nadal saves the first with a big serve, but then drags a forehand into the middle of the net! We’re back on serve in set two and Fritz leads 6-3 2-3!
Fritz holds to get on the board in set two and big forehand coming in, sent to the backhand corner, gets him 15-30 on the Nadal serve. So Nadal craftily takes his time over the next point … only to uncraftily double! Two chances for Fritz to break!
Kyrgios only needs one of his three set points, a backhand down the line inciting the error, and he looks seriously pumped as he celebrates the set. Garin, on the other hand, wears the look of someone who knows he doesn’t have the weapons to compete. Garin 4-6 Kyrgios
Garin finds himself at 0-30 and suddenly he’s two points way from set one. So Kyrgios smacks a return deep, he can’t respond, and that’s 0-40….
At 4-4 and deuce, Kyrgios finds his fifth ace of the match – his serve is one of the most devastating weapons in our sport – then again when back there after Garin saves game point. But he closes out for 5-4 as Nadal consolidates for 3-0.
Again, Nadal breaks at the first time of asking, taking a 2-0 lead in set two. I daresay he’ll guard it more jealously this time. Fritz 6-3 0-2 Nadal
On Kyrgios v Garin, Calvin teaches that Kyrgios has more tools, especially on grass – Garin is a clay-courter – but Garin will make him hit a lot of balls, so if he’s not fit, whether struggling with his shoulder or not properly conditioned, he could have a problem.
Kyrgios is still ranting, about what I can’t hear, and he cedes a 15-30 advantage so Garin makes 4-4.
Fritz has beaten Nadal this year, returns Calvin Betton – before that brilliant first-set comeback, I must add – saying that he’s big, strong and has a good backhand, giving him the profile of someone who matches up well to the second seed, as it means he can defend the looped topspin forehand and hit through Nadal. He doesn’t think he’ll win, but if he does, that’ll be why. Meantime, Nadal holds for 1-0 in set two.
Kyrgios has settled, clinching 4-3 with another ace to go in front for the first time in the match.
Five straight games for Taylor Fritz! He seals the set with an ace and leads Nadal 6-3!
Kyrgios then forces another opportunity on advantage, takes it, and makes 3-3.
Hello! Simultaneous break points for Kyrgios, who played a miraculous forehand cross-court pass on the run, and Fritz; Kyrgios wastes his and does shouting, Nadal sends down a double on Fritz’s, and after being broken in the first game, he’ll now serve for the set at 5-3!
Nadal gets to 30-40, but Fritz dis into his box of tricks and pulls out a succession of monstrous serves. This is developing into a really interesting match.
Garin consolidates for 2-0 and gets 0-15, but Kyrgios finds two aces to get his first two points of the match and closes out the game well.
Excellent from Fritz, making 0-30 then cracking a forrhand for three break points. But Nadal responds with a flat second serve, then a glorious backhand winner followed by a banging service winner out wide. Fritz, though, makes advantage by way of error-inciting return … and though Nadal plays a decent volley off his attempted pass, the court os open for the winner! Fritz breaks back for 3-3, and he’s into this now!
Garin nails his first return for a clean winner and breaks Kyrgios to love! Kyrgios is chuntering already!
Garin and Kyrgios are away…
Fritz does well to return from 0-30 down, again powerless in the face of Nadal winners, but though he does well to take the game from there, he’s running to stand still.
Ominous stuff from Nadal, closing out another hold with a leaping smash that belongs in gallery. He’s been the best player in the tournament so far, and Djokovic is the only man left in the draw who looks to have a chance of stopping him. He leads 3-1.