Nick Kyrgios vs Rafael Nadal ATP Moneyline Picks - 7/4/2019
Nick Kyrgios vs Rafael Nadal
5 am EST, 4th July 2019
This is by far the most anticipated match of the 2nd round. When the draw came out, this potential matchup was immediately highlighted by all the tennis fans. Not only that we will see two great players with contrasting playing style but also a very interesting story surrounding this match. It all started with Nick Kyrgios being very open about his feelings towards some of the top players in the world. He was most critical of Novak Djokovic, but guys like Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco were not spared either. He did take a step back in his most recent interview though, saying that he doesn't think Nadal and himself could go out get a couple of beers together, but that he still respects the Spaniard. In my opinion, that statement didn't really help calm down the situation here. Rafael will still be highly motivated to shut him up on the court and deliver as much pain as possible. Problem is that it's not going to be that easy. Nick Kyrgios is a very talented player. His effort is not always at 100%, which is why his potential is rarely on full display, but in these type of matches, he usually brings his A-game. In the first round, we were able to see both sided of the medal when it comes to young Aussie. He played really good at times and pretty poor in some moment, like an entire 4th set which he shamelessly tanked and lost 0-6 to his countryman Jordan Thompson. He rebounded nicely by winning the decider 6-1 and ending up on top after all. Its interesting that he won the match, despite being behind in total points and total games won categories. This type of performance will not cut it against Rafa.
On the other side, Rafal Nadal cruised through his first-round match. Actually, he had a quite slow start with Yuichi Sugita having an opportunity to jump into a double break advantage early on in the first set. But once that opportunity slipped out of his hands, he immediately got punished with a re-break and then won only 7 games total in the entire match. Even though he's not known for it, Rafa's serving stats were pretty good, scoring 11 aces and winning 70% of the points behind his serve. Despite grass not being his favorite surface, he was always dangerous at Wimbledon, holding 48-11 record at the moment with 2 titles to go along with it. He was eliminated in the semifinals last year, after a battle against Novak Djokovic, losing the 5th set by 8-10.
As I already mentioned it, Kyrgios mostly brings it in matches like this. He has a great H2H record vs Nadal, managing to split their 6 matches to three each. All of 3 his wins came on faster surfaces like Acapulco and Cincinnati on hard courts and Wimbledon (2014) on the grass. It is great for him to have so many big weapons that are enabling him to shorten the points and avoid those long rallies where Nadal is so good. When he managed to make it about first-strike tennis, he ended up on top. I guess that will be the gameplan in this match as well. It will be slightly harder this time though, with courts in Wimbledon being slightly slower compared to some other years.
Betting odds & prediction
We actually have a very good in-play opportunity. Key here is which player is going to successfully enforce his style of play to his opponent. If you see that Kyrgios is able to shorten the points, then there will be a lot of value backing him at the odds that are available pre-game. But, if the slow surface helps Nadal to defend better and force Kyrgios into longer baseline exchanges, then Nick might lose his patience and lose one of the sets in 1-6 fashion or something, which would help Nadal covering that -4.5
Josh's Pick: over 39 games (-111)
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