Brisbane QF previews and predictions: Kyrgios vs. Dolgopolov, Dimitrov vs. Edmund

Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios are the last two remaining seeds in Brisbane and they are on a collision course for the semifinals. They first have to get past Kyle Edmund and Alexandr Dolgopolov, respectively, during quarterfinal action on Friday.

(3) Nick Kyrgios vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov

Kyrgios and Dolgopolov will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International on Friday. Their only previous encounter came last summer on the hard courts of Cincinnati, where Kyrgios won a third-round affair 6-3, 7-6(6) on his way to finishing runner-up to Grigor Dimitrov.

The 22-year-old Australian followed up a first-round bye with a 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-2 defeat of countryman Matthew Ebden on Wednesday. Kyrgios battled extremely well and kept things together mentally despite dealing with an apparent knee issue for much of the match. Ranked 38th in the world, Dolgopolov can secure an Australian Open seed with a victory over Kyrgios–of if he gets a few more withdrawals ahead of him in the rankings. The Ukrainian has advanced this week by beating Diego Schwartzman and Horacio Zeballos in straight sets. Both of these performers are extremely unpredictable, but Dolgopolov’s form through two rounds combined with Kyrgios’ questionable knee suggests a minor upset could be in the cards.

Pick: Dolgopolov in 3

(1) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Kyle Edmund

Ranked third in the world and storming into 2018 as the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, Dimitrov is looking like a serious contender for his first career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. But he will not lose sight of the task at hand in Brisbane. Although the defending champion almost failed to get his title defense off the ground, he came up clutch and saved two match points before outlasting John Millman 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 on Thursday night.

Up next for Dimitrov is a second career contest against Edmund, who lost their only previous encounter 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 last summer in Washington, D.C. The 50th-ranked Brit earned another shot at the Bulgarian thanks to tough three-set victories over Denis Shapovalov (6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4) and Hyeon Chung (7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4) earlier this week. Dimitrov’s defense should be able to withstand Edmund’s forehand and force the 22-year-old into long rallies, which is not what he needs with two long matches in his legs.

Pick: Dimitrov in 2

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