Date: 3 July 2021
Tournament: The Championships, Wimbledon
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: London, Great Britain
Category: Grand Slam
Prize money: £17,066,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Nick Kyrgios vs Felix Auger-Aliassime preview
If there were questions surrounding Nick Kyrgios' form and fitness heading into Wimbledon 2021, the Australian answered them with strong performances in his first couple of rounds.
Unseeded this year, Kyrgios would have been a nightmare first-round opponent for any title challenger. He ended up being drawn against a player with whom he shared a dream match at the Australian Open earlier this year - 21st seed Ugo Humbert.
In their match in Melbourne, Kyrgios came back from two sets to one down to seal the win 6-4 in the fifth. Understandably, there was a lot of hype surrounding their Wimbledon encounter.
Few, however, would have bet on it being a repeat of their Melbourne contest. The 26-year-old Australian trailed by two sets to one and once again fought back to win the match - this time 9-7 in the fifth.
Kyrgios was the overwhelming favorite against Gianluca Mager in the second round and he lived up to the billing. After narrowly taking the first set in a tiebreak, the Australian won the next two relatively comfortably. More impressively, he did not face a single break point in the entire match.
While Kyrgios was seemingly preparing for Wimbledon on his PlayStation, his third-round opponent Felix Auger-Aliassime took a more conventional approach. The Canadian made the finals at Stuttgart and the semifinals at Halle in consecutive weeks, losing to Marin Clic and Ugo Humbert respectively.
The 20-year-old is making only his second appearance at SW19 this year. He was only 18 when he made it to the third round during his previous visit to the All England Club. Understandably, he loves the venue, and the surface in general. Auger-Aliassime has won an astounding 76.2% of his matches on grass (16-5 record), as compared to 48.8% (20-21) on clay and 55.2% (48-39) on hardcourt.
The Canadian has looked in impressive touch this week. He took out Thiago Monteiro in the first round in straight sets for the loss of just nine games and without conceding a single break point.
But his second-round match against Mikael Ymer was much trickier. After splitting the first two sets, the two players wrestled to gain control of the match in the third. The Canadian took it in a tiebreak and then ran away with the fourth set to secure a place in the Round of 32.
Nick Kyrgios vs Felix Auger-Aliassime head-to-head
Nick Kyrgios and Felix Auger-Aliassime have met only once on the tour - on the grasscourts of Queen's Club in 2019. The Canadian prevailed with a 6-7(4), 7-6(3) 7-5 scoreline. Auger-Aliassime thus leads their head-to-head 1-0.
Nick Kyrgios vs Felix Auger-Aliassime prediction
Both Nick Kyrgios and Felix Auger-Aliassime have been extremely dominant on serve this week. The Canadian won more than 80% of his first-serve points in his first two matches, while Kyrgios racked up a similar number in his second-round match against Mager.
The Australian also posted a 73% win-rate on first serve against Humbert which is handy considering the Frenchman's abilities. The fact that Kyrgios came out on top in that marathon encounter speaks volumes of his motivation this week. And that might be a telling factor on Saturday.
The match appears even on paper, with a few points here and there potentially deciding its outcome. Given Kyrgios' experience at Wimbledon and his sense of purpose, he is expected to step up in the majority of the big moments.
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Prediction: Nick Kyrgios to win in four sets.