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Hollywood seems to have moved to Melbourne Park — for the fortnight, at least.
After Will Ferrell made several appearances at the Australian Open earlier in the week, fellow actor Will Smith watched the tennis on Rod Laver Arena Friday evening, as Nick Kyrgios thrilled the home crowd by ousting No. 15 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.
“That was amazing. No joke, he's like my favourite actor,” Kyrgios said. “I get asked if one person were acting your life, I'd always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight.”
Kyrgios still watches Smith’s television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and says Smith stars in his two favorite movies, “Focus” and “Seven Pounds”. The right-hander even chatted with him intermittently in the third set.
“Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making,” Kyrgios said. “I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis’. I said, 'I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times'. It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.”
Former World No. 1 Jim Courier spoke to Smith during the match, and he was impressed by what he was seeing in his first Grand Slam visit, especially from Kyrgios.
“I love, he does this little bow in his wrist I love, it looks like a power thing,” Smith said. “I don’t know a lot about tennis, but watching him I was like man, I think I might have to take this up a little bit!"
Courier asked Kyrgios on court after the match how he felt seeing the actor in attendance.
"When I saw him [Smith] out here, I was so nervous, no joke," Kyrgios said. "I was like 'Oh my God', people think I'm cool but I just wanted him to think I was like the coolest person ever!"
Smith smiled, and gave the Aussie a big thumbs up. Kyrgios beat his idol Tsonga and got props from his favourite actor — not bad for a night’s work.
“I shook hands with Jo at the net. He was like, ‘Great match’. I was kind of staring at him. I didn't really say anything. He kind of just smiled, kind of embraced me,” Kyrgios remembered. “I was nervous for both honestly. I was nervous for both of them.”
Much to Kyrgios’ delight, the 22-year-old got to meet Smith after the match.
“He was really nice,” Kyrgios said. “He was really genuine. Yeah, it was nice to meet him.”

Before each day's play at the Australian Open, we'll preview and predict three must-see matches.
Angelique Kerber vs. Maria Sharapova
Third-round matches at majors don’t come much more promising than this one. The last three times Sharapova and Kerber played, they went three sets, and all of them were contests of the highest athletic order. Sharapova the fearless slugger vs. Kerber the tireless retriever makes for an ideal contrast in styles, and each of these former Australian Open champions appears to be rounding into something close to top form at the moment. So far in Melbourne, Sharapova has kept the errors at bay, while Kerber has moved up in the court. But if this is contest where both women are playing well, I like Kerber’s consistency, by a (blond) hair. Winner: Kerber
Juan Martin del Potro vs. Tomas Berdych
Like Kerber vs. Sharapova, this matchup of supertalls has a second-week-at-a-major feel to it. Delpo, after all, is a Grand Slam champ, and Berdych is one of an elite group to reach the semis or better at all four majors. The Argentine and the Czech have also been evenly matched in recent years; Delpo leads their overall head to head 5-3, but they’ve split their last four meetings. Still, while Berdych has hit the ball well in his first two matches in Oz, Del Potro has been on a slow-building roll since last summer. If he advances here, he’ll be a strong dark horse for the title. Winner: Del Potro
Follow Lucie Safarova behind the scenes, throughout the season, on My Tennis Life:
Karolina Pliskova vs. Lucie Safarova
For a matchup between fellow Czechs and fellow recent Grand Slam finalists, Pliskova vs. Safarova has been surprisingly one-sided. Pliskova, the younger of the two, has won five of their six meetings. A surprise, but not a shock: She’s the bigger hitter and the more lethal server, and as of now she’s ranked 26 spots higher. But Safarova has been inside the Top 10 and deep in multiple majors, and three of her five losses to Pliskova have come in three sets. If Lucie plays well, she should make this an entertainingly fast-paced baseline battle. If Pliskova plays well, she should win it. Winner: Pliskova
Read Joel Drucker and Nina Pantic on as they report from the Australian Open, and watch them each day on The Daily Mix:
NEW SEASON, MORE TENNIS! Get Tennis Channel Plus now at
A LOT of tennis action will be played on Tennis Channel Plus from January through June
Don't miss out on the coverage of the Australian Open over the next two weeks!

Rafael Nadal has been business-like thus far in his three matches at the Australian Open and on Friday moved to within one victory of maintaining his hold on No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.
The Spanish superstar tore past No. 28 seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia & Herzegovina 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 on Margaret Court Arena to reach the fourth round for the 11th time.
“I’m happy to be through to the fourth round,” said Nadal. “I needed hours of court, hours of playing sets with different players. That's what I did. I think I had a good preparation here. I felt myself playing well. Here I am in the fourth round - that's because I am doing the right things. Let's see how far I can go.”
The 2009 champion – and a four-time finalist overall – competed with real intent in the 550th hard-court match of his career (424-126), striking 28 winners and converting seven of his 16 break point opportunities.
The 31-year-old will next face Argentine No. 24 seed Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round. He is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era (since 1968) and only the third in history – after Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver – to win each of the four Grand Slam championship trophies.
“He's a great player,” said Nadal. “He's a player that last year had an amazing year, and this year start again playing so well. So already won three matches here, playing again at very high level. He's a very complete player. He's a player that if I don't play my best, I’m probably not going to win.”
Nadal won the first five games of the match and came within one point of a 22-minute bagel opener, only for Dzumhur to save set point at 0-5, 30/40. Despite being broken early in the second set, Dzumhur worked his way back to 2-2, but from there Nadal won 10 of the next 12 games for victory in one hour and 50 minutes.
Dzumhur has been on a three-match winning streak against opponents in the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings, having beaten Nadal at the 2016 Miami Open presented by Itau (third-set retirement), then last year over No. 3-ranked Stan Wawrinka at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and No. 4-ranked Alexander Zverev at the Shenzhen Open.
Schwartzman avenged his straight sets loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp two weeks ago to reach the Australian Open fourth round for the first time.
The diminutive Argentine regrouped from losing the first set to win 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 38 minutes.

Radu Albot and Hyeon Chung, the Next Gen ATP Finals titlist, scored a massive upset in the Australian Open doubles second round on Friday when they knocked out defending champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers 6-4, 7-6(5) in one hour and 35 minutes.
Marginally stronger on serve, Albot and Chung survived a power barrage from the second seeds, who struck 29 winners, to convert one of their three break point opportunities for a place in the third round. They now await the winners of 15th seeds Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, and Robert Lindstedt and Franko Skugor.
Elsewhere, sixth seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who lost to Kontinen and Peers in the 2017 title match, earned another hard-fought victory over Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. It was their 70th match win overall at Melbourne Park (70-12). The six-time former champions, seeking their first Australian Open crown since 2013, will now face Australians Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid or Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.
In-form seventh seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who are competing together at the Australian Open for the first time, got the better of Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. Marach and Pavic captured back-to-back ATP World Tour crowns at the start of the 2018 season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Murray/Soares) and the ASB Classic (d. Mirnyi-Oswald). They will next challenge No. 10 seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Another seeded team joining Kontinen and Peers, this year's Brisbane International presented by Suncorp titlists, on the sidelines on day five were ninth-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez. They lost to Ben Mclachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

You don't have to play your best at a Grand Slam to advance; you just have to play better than the person across the net.
And for the second consecutive match, Grigor Dimitrov, without the finest version of his world-class game, found a way to move on at the Australian Open and keep his maiden Grand Slam title hopes alive.
The third seed persisted past #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev on Friday on Rod Laver Arena 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Melbourne. Dimitrov will next face either 17th seed Nick Kyrgios or 15th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who play later on Friday evening.
“These are the most important matches for me, when things are not working and I'm able to find a way. That's just it,” Dimitrov told Jim Courier on court after the match. “I'm just pleased that I won the match.”
It's the fourth consecutive time Dimitrov has made the Round of 16 Down Under, and he had to labour for it against the 30th-seeded Rublev, who had beaten Dimitrov during their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, in the second round of the 2017 US Open.
The Bulgarian struggled with his backhand and resorted to only slicing it for much of the match. He also hit more double faults – 15 – than aces – 13.
But the third seed also fought and fought and fought. He fell behind a break in the third set yet came back to break Rublev twice and win the third set. Dimitrov converted 31 per cent of his break chances (6/19).
In the final set, he saw break points during Rublev's first three service games and at last came through during the seventh game. On match point, Dimitrov slapped a forehand winner at the net and fell to both knees before shouting at his box in relief.

Before each day's play at the Australian Open, we'll preview and predict three must-see matches.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Kyrgios said he had fun in his only previous meeting with Tsonga, in Marseille last year, despite the fact that it ended in a three-set defeat. The 22-year-old Aussie grew up loving the 32-year-old Frenchman’s flamboyant, above-the-rim style of play, and you can see a lot of that style in the way Kyrgios approaches the game. Put the two together, and you have the makings of an explosive night match in Laver.
As for who will win it, Kyrgios is at home, is coming off a tournament win in Brisbane and seems to be in a positive frame of mind—at the moment. But Tsonga is coming off an electrifying comeback win over Denis Shapovalov from 2-5 down in the fifth. By the end, he was playing unstoppable tennis. With Jo, though, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be unstoppable again. Winner: Kyrgios
Tennis Channel Live on what's next for Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov:
Grigor Dimitrov vs. Andrey Rublev
Was Dimitrov’s brush with disaster against Mackenzie McDonald a wake-up call or a death knell? If he has designs on the title here, Dimitrov shouldn’t be forced to go deep into a fifth set to scratch his way past the world No. 186. But at the same time, scratching through on off days is something that Grand Slam title winners must do every now and then.
What we know for certain is that Dimitrov will need to play better from the start against Rublev, who has recorded wins over two quality veterans, David Ferrer and Marcos Baghdatis, in his first two matches in Melbourne. More ominously for Dimitrov, the hard-hitting 20-year-old beat him in straight sets, in their only meeting, at the US Open last year. Winner: Rublev
Elina Svitolina vs. Marta Kostyuk
In this intra-national battle of Ukrainians, Svitolina is the heavy favorite. She’s ranked No. 6 and is the choice of many—including myself—to win the tournament. Kostyuk, by contrast, is 15 years old and ranked 521st. But the fact that she’s the youngest player to reach the third round of a major in this century tells you that she possesses special talent.
Watching her first two matches in Melbourne, it was hard to tell much difference between Kostyuk and the veteran pros that surrounded her; she can, if nothing else, rip a forehand with anyone. Svitolina, meanwhile, lost her forehand somewhere along the way during her slump-shouldered three-set win over Katerina Siniakova on Wednesday. She’ll need to find it again soon. Winner: Svitolina
Read Joel Drucker and Nina Pantic on as they report from the Australian Open, and watch them each day on The Daily Mix:
NEW SEASON, MORE TENNIS! Get Tennis Channel Plus now at
A LOT of tennis action will be played on Tennis Channel Plus from January through June
Don't miss out on the coverage of the Australian Open over the next two weeks!