Fixture: Nick Kyrgios vs Gianluca Mager
Date: 1 July 2021
Tournament: The Championships, Wimbledon
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
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 Gianluca Mager preview
Nick Kyrgios, before the start of Wimbledon, stunningly declared he could beat 50% of the draw without much preparation. The Australian lived up to his word as he ousted an in-form Ugo Humbert in the first round.
Kyrgios battled to a 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7 win in a rain-interrupted match that was played over two days. The Aussie will next face Gianluca Mager in the second round on Thursday.
Kyrgios, 26, came into this year's Wimbledon with no grasscourt matches under his belt. In fact, the former quarterfinalist at SW19 had played only seven matches on tour in the last 17 months.
Yet the mercurial Aussie displayed a level that could send shivers down the spine of the remaining players in the draw. Kyrgios hammered 51 winners, including 23 aces, and outhit his French counterpart from all corners of the court.
Buoyed by a partisan crowd on No. 1 Court, Kyrgios was able to summon his best tennis in the closing stages of the fifth set to send Humbert packing.
Humbert did not do much wrong, but he simply had no answers to the missile-like groundstrokes and serves the Aussie conjured.
Kyrgios' next opponent, Gianluca Mager, defeated Juan Ignacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 in another rain-interrupted match to advance to the second round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career.
Mager struck 48 winners, including 17 aces, and got broken just twice against Londero. He will hope to put on a similar display against Kyrgios on Thursday.
Nick Kyrgios vs Gianluca Mager head-to-head
Nick Kyrgios and Gianluca Mager have never crossed paths on tour before, which is why their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Nick Kyrgios vs Gianluca Mager prediction
Nick Kyrgios plays his best tennis when he's spurred on by an energetic crowd. Considering the caliber of his next opponent, it is unlikely the Australian will be scheduled on one of the showcourts, meaning he will enjoy much less support than he did against Humbert.
Despite that, Kyrgios is still the favorite to come through. The key for the Australian would be to find enough motivation. If the Aussie happens to lose his focus, Mager will be able to make inroads.
But considering the way Kyrgios served in the first round, it is unlikely Mager will be able to stop him.
Prediction: Nick Kyrgios to win in four sets.