Australian Open 2020: Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios, 4th Round, Preview and Prediction
- Can Kyrgios, the bad boy of tennis, show some discipline and hunger to stun the Spaniard or will Nadal, cruise to a resounding victory?
Rafael Nadal sent his fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta packing out of Australian Open 2020 in barely 100 minutes as the World No.1, losing just 7 games in the process, recorded a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 dominant win in his 3rd round encounter. It was by far the Spaniard’s best performance at this year’s Australian Open so far and will now take on the local lad, Nick Kyrgios in his upcoming 4th round contest at the Rod Laver Arena.
While the 33-year old Spaniard is yet to drop a set at Melbourne this year, Kyrgios is coming off an intense, epic 5-set thriller against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. Against the resilient Russian, Kyrgios gained a 2-0 set ascendance but lost the next two and finally won a nail-biting contest 6-2, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 7-6(10-8) via a deciding set tiebreak.
Since their clash at Acapulco last February, where Kyrgios sensationally defeated Nadal after saving three match points, there has been an intense, feisty rivalry brewing between the two. One can expect a lot of firecrackers and verbal taunts as these two will face each other to secure a spot in the quarter-final of the Australian Open.
On the ATP tour, Nadal leads Kyrgios 4-3 and was the victor when they last met at Wimbledon in 2019. However, as far as hard-court contests are concerned, Kyrgios has managed to win on two occasions out of three so far and in front of his home crowd, he would fancy upsetting the 2009 Australian Open champion.
After winning against Carreno Busta on a canter, Nadal would be fresh while Kyrgios, after an energy-sapping contest against Khachanov, might show some signs of fatigue. And that said, if indeed the upcoming contest turns out to be a physical battle, it will favor the Spaniard, who relishes and thrives playing in physically draining matches.
Alongside playing the drop shots and implementing the cheeky shots, the 24-year old Australian would look forward to using a variety of means to annoy the Spaniard and thereby upset his rhythm. On the other hand, Nadal would aim to stick to his game plan and not get amused by the tricks of the 24-year old Australian.
Against someone like Kyrgios, Nadal would be a little extra motivated and after his straight-sets defeat against Novak Djokovic at the ATP Cup final, a victory against the dangerous Australian would do a world of good for the Spaniard’s confidence as he fancies winning his 2nd Australian Open title this year.
Can Nick Kyrgios, the 'bad boy' of tennis, show some discipline, hunger, and resilience to stun the 19-time Grand Slam champion or will Nadal, secure a resounding victory to move a step closer towards his potential 20th Major title?
When Nadal and Kyrgios take the court together, there has been never a dull moment around as we anticipate another high-octane, drama-filled contest to unfold in their upcoming 4th round encounter at the Rod Laver Arena.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in four sets.
Here is all you need to know about the match:
Tournament: Australian Open 2
Venue: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Match Schedule: Rafael Nadal Vs Nick Kyrgios, 4th Round, January 27, 2020, at 1:30 PM IST
Published 27 Jan 2020, 08:27 IST