Following an impressive straight-sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory against Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in his opening round contest, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal takes on a highly volatile and unpredictable Nick Kyrgios in their upcoming second round clash at the Championships, Wimbledon.
While Nadal sailed smoothly in his first round contest, his upcoming opponent Kyrgios came through a stern test against his compatriot Jordan Thompson over five entertaining sets in their opening round meeting at the All England Club.
After being handed a tougher draw at Wimbledon, Kyrgios offers the Spaniard his first major test at this year’s tournament.
While any match involving a frantic Kyrgios is not short of drama and controversies, his upcoming contest against the 18-time Grand Slam champion not only has the potential to entertain the crowd, but also can grab the headlines of tennis world for all the wrong reasons, especially after what happened in their last meeting at Acapulco earlier this February.
From Kyrgios serving underarm to Nadal refusing to properly shake hands with his frantic opponent after his sensational loss to the booing of the crowd, there was an evident bad blood brewing among these two players following their epic clash at the Mexican Open earlier this year.
In the midst of all the drama and hatred boiling in between Nadal and Kyrgios off the field, one must not forget that their upcoming clash at Wimbledon promises to be a fascinating contest among two diametrically opposite style of players and one can just hope that their performances on the lush green courts of All England Club and not their antics grab the attention of general public and tennis fans, in general.
The 18-time Grand Slam champ Nadal and the spirited Kyrgios have faced each other on 6 occasions so far and their duel is currently tied at 3-3. However, in their only meeting on grass, Nadal was stunned 6-7, 7-5, 6-7, 3-6 by the tall Australian in their Round of 16 clash at Wimbledon, back in 2014.
The freewheeling Australian prefers playing on grass, but was taken the distance in his first round encounter and would look forward to making amends to his game in a bid to put up a much-improved performance against one of the former Wimbledon champions.
In spite of being hugely talented and a bit unconventional in his style of play, Kyrgios has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and would desperately hope to improve his record at the All England Club.
The lanky Australian succumbed to a first-round exit at the Australian Open earlier this year and would be hungry for success at the Grand Slams than ever before. Moreover, if taken in the right way, Nadal’s presence on the opposite side of the net would just act like a little extra motivation for the Australian to push his limits in his upcoming clash against the Spaniard.
For Nadal, a person who likes to build on momentum after each passing match, a comprehensive win against an uncanny customer like Kyrgios early on in the tournament would augur extremely well in what appears to be a tough and long road towards the title for the Spaniard if he fancies winning his 3rd Wimbledon crown this year.
Even though Nadal still starts as a favorite against Kyrgios, the latter has troubled the Spaniard in the past and has every chance to cause a massive upset early on at this year’s Wimbledon.
While it is difficult to predict how this episode of Nadal-Kyrgios saga would unfold, one thing is for sure, there would be no love shown from either of the players as we can expect a lot of animated reactions and frenzies, especially from the turbulent Kyrgios.
An interesting match is well and truly on the cards!
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in four sets.