Nick Kyrgios believes Grigor Dimitrov can claim a maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open, as long as the world number three retains faith in his own ability.
Dimitrov moved into the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) success over Kyrgios on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
Kyrgios' defeat means the wait for a home men's champion at Melbourne Park will extend into a 43rd year, but he was able to reflect on an honourable defeat during which both men produced high-quality tennis.
The pair enjoyed a lengthy embrace at the net afterwards, and Kyrgios revealed what he had said to Dimitrov, who faces grand slam quarter-final debutant Kyle Edmund in the next round.
"Obviously I knew it was always going to be tough. He's been playing great," Kyrgios said.
"I think with him, he hasn't even found his best form yet and he's still getting through all those matches, which is pretty frightening.
"I think once he finds his feet and he has more confidence, he's got a real chance at winning it. I just told him to believe in himself. Sometimes I think he lacks a bit of belief.
"But I think he's got the game and he's proved to everyone that he can win one of these slams. So I just told him to believe himself and hopefully he can go all the way."
After a promising start to the season which saw him lift the Brisbane International title two weeks ago, Kyrgios believes the signs are good for the rest of 2018.
"I think I just had a massive month," he said. "I was feeling a little tight at some stages in the match and the adrenaline kicked in.
"I'm pretty happy with my Aussie summer. I thought I played well. I thought I played well tonight.
"I feel confident. I still feel confident after losing that match. All eyes are on Davis Cup for me now in a week and a half, or a couple of weeks.
"I'm just going to rest for a couple of days and slowly get back into hitting a couple of balls and just being with the team and that's it."
27 de mayo 2018
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