Berdych is ready to end Kyrgios’ journey to Tour
TOMAS Berdych took out Bernard Tomic in the fourth round at last year's Australian Open, and now he plans to end the run of another Aussie hopeful in Nick Kyrgios.
The Czech has made at least the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the last five years, something only Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have also achieved over that period.
But while Berdych has been a permanent fixture in the top 10 rankings in recent years, he has only made it though to one grand slam final.
That was at Wimbledon in 2010 when he was beaten in straight sets by Rafael Nadal.
The No.6 seed has yet to drop a set at this year's Australian Open, beating India's Yuki Bhambri in the first round and Bosnia's Mirza Basic in the second.
Berdych acknowledged Kyrgios - who he has never played on the ATP Tour - would provide a totally different challenge.
"He has definitely a game to play big matches, play with big opponents," he said.
"But, yeah, I mean he's going to play aggressive. He's serving well. As I said, you know, it's a guy that likes to have big matches. So I have to be really, really being there, being prepared, being very focused from the first point."
Asked whether he thought the parochial Australian crowd could play a part in the outcome, Berdych said it was something he had dealt with at many tournaments across the globe.
"He's a local, so that's how it is. But anyway, I still feel that the crowd is pretty nice here - always enjoy to play the matches here," Berdych said.
"I've been playing many matches with Frenchmen in the Roland Garros, American guys in US Open, many Davis Cup matches away.
"I think that's all right. That's part of the sport.
"I think it's what we want to have."
Kyrgios comes into the match on the back of wins against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas.
While he hasn't played Berdych in a Tour match, he did beat the Czech 6-2 in a one-setter at last year's International Premier Tennis League in Japan.
"I know what he's capable of. He's one of the best players in the world," Kyrgios said.
Meanwhile, Daria Gavrilova, the last Aussie standing in the women's draw, will take on Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in a third-round match today.
They have never played each other on the WTA Tour.