Dubai QF previews and picks: Berdych vs. Kyrgios, Wawrinka vs. Kohlschreiber

Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios are one round away from what would be a headline-stealing semifinal showdown in Dubai. They first have to get through respective meetings with Philipp Kohlschreiber and Tomas Berdych on Thursday.

Nick Kyrgios vs. (3) Tomas Berdych

Berdych and Kyrgios will be squaring off for the third time in their careers and for the third time already this season when they collide again in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. They just faced each other last week in the Marseille semis, with Kyrgios cruising 6-4, 6-2 en route to his first career ATP title. The 20-year-old Aussie had previously lost to Berdych 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 during third-round action at the Australian Open.

Two days after his Marseille triumph, Kyrgios did not appear to have any interest in lasting long in Dubai. He dropped his opening set to Martin Klizan without putting up much of an effort, but the Slovak took his foot off the gas pedal and Kyrgios recovered for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Given new life, the world No. 33 hammered Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday. Berdych has advanced with straight-set victories over Joao Sousa and Thomas Fabbiano. Needless to say, the competition level is now ratcheting up in a major way for the eighth-ranked Czech. After his out-of-sorts performance against Klizan, Kyrgios–who held all 47 of his service games last week–fired 11 aces without double-faulting against Kukushkin and did not face a single break point.

Pick: Kyrgios in 3

(8) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (2) Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka and Kohlschreiber will be going head-to-head for the third time overall and for the first time since all the way back in 2008 when they battle for a place in the Dubai semifinals on Thursday. The Swiss won each of their two encounters eight years ago; 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 at the French Open and 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) on the indoor hard courts of Madrid. A scheduled 2015 meeting in Metz was denied when Wawrinka pulled out due to injury.
Kohli autograph
The No. 2 seed, who is coming off a Marseille quarterfinal loss to Benoit Paire, has defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky (7-5 in the third set) and Franko Skugor (7-5, 6-1) so far this week. In addition to relatively lackluster form at the moment, Wawrinka also seemed to be dealing with heavy legs in the second set against Skugor. Kohlschreiber heated up with a quarterfinal finish in Sofia and a semifinal run in Rotterdam. The 28th-ranked German has maintained his fine form in Dubai with straight-set defeats of Borna Coric and Marseil Ilhan. An upset looks like it could be in the cards.

Pick: Kohlschreiber in 3


3 Comments on Dubai QF previews and picks: Berdych vs. Kyrgios, Wawrinka vs. Kohlschreiber

  1. If he was well enough to start the match he was well enough to finish the match. And the crowd saw him refuse the offer from the medics to have eye drops and a wash-out. That’s what riled the people who booed.


      • Hawkeye,

        Yes you are correct. But it is convenient to try and find a way to rationalize their behavior.

        Crowds will do what they are going to do. Novak could have handled it better, but it’s easy to judge someone after the fact and feel superior.

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