Ashleigh Barty is the only Australian singles tennis player to make the finals of the Australian Open after Nick Kyrgios was beaten in a four-set thriller against Rafael Nadal last night (Monday).
Barty, the current world No. 1 player, is preparing to face Petra Kvitova today (Tuesday) in the quarter-finals after a gutsy* 6-3 1-6 6-4 Australia Day triumph over American Alison Riske.
Kyrgios also put on a gutsy performance against Nadal on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal had to pull out all his best shots to end Kyrgios’s Australian Open campaign 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).
A capacity* crowd watched as Nadal and Kyrgios traded shots of the highest quality before the Spaniard took the match in a fourth-set tie-break*.
Nadal defeats Kyrgios in epic
Nadal hit 64 winners to Kyrgios’s 50 but was more measured with only 27 unforced errors to the Australian’s 43.
Nadal, a 19-time grand slam champion, was impressed by Kyrgios’s fight.
“A very tough match. In the beginning, I was a little bit in control but against Nick you are never in control,” Nadal said.
“What can I say about Nick? When he is playing like today with this positive attitude he gives a lot of positive things to our sport.”
Kyrgios said he was shattered to have not made the finals once again at the Australian Open.
“These are the matches that I want to win the most,” he said. “But, overall, this summer has been fun. I feel like I’ve made progress as a human.”
Kyrgios, 24, has also made progress in the rankings, with the one-time world No. 13 expected to return to the top 20 for the first time since August 2018.
Meanwhile, Barty is hoping her growing experience will help her continue through the finals to become the first Australian to lift an Australian Open singles trophy since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
- gutsy: brave
- capacity: full
- tie-break: used to decide the winner of a set when the game score is six-all, The first player to score seven points, with a minimum two-point lead, wins the tie-break and the set
- Who defeated Nick Kyrgios?
- How many sets did they play?
- What nationality is Rafael Nadal?
- Who is the only remaining Aussie in the Open?
- When did an Australian last win the Open singles title?
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1. Gutsy performances
Both Ashleigh Barty and Nick Kyrgios have been described as giving gutsy performances in their matches, which means they have shown great courage on the court.
Name five things a tennis player might do to demonstrate a gutsy display.
Time: allow 15 minutes for this activity.
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking.
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many wow words or ambitious pieces of vocabulary that you can find in yellow. Discuss the meanings of these words and see if you can use them orally in another sentence.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Which player or players are you cheering for at the Australian Open? Why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.