In one of the more interesting opening round matches at the Western & Southern Open, Nick Kyrgios will take on Lucas Pouille in a match up of two of the best young players on the tour right now. After an early exit to the Junior Wimbledon winner Denis Shapovalov in Toronto, Kyrgios bounced back in the best way possible in Atlanta, winning the title with a straight sets win over John Isner in the final.
Kyrgios is currently at a career high of 18 after the title in Atlanta and has room to move up with a deep run here after a first round exit against Richard Gasquet last year. The Australian didn’t compete at the Olympics due to a long running feud with Tennis Australia so should be fresh coming into the tournament after a week off.
Just inside the top 30, Pouille has played just two matches since Wimbledon dropping from the career high of No.21 that he earned thanks to his Wimbledon quarter final. The Frenchman has had some good runs this year, most notably that at Wimbledon and a semi final in Rome. Having lost last time out to Rajeev Ram in Canada, Pouille will want to avoid defeat once more but against an in-form Kyrgios that is going to be mighty tough. Kyrgios has played 24 matches against opponents ranked lower than him, winning 21 of them.
The winner will face Borna Coric in round two after the Croatian won the only Round 1 match played on Sunday evening.
Nick Kyrgios in straight sets
Check out the Isner vs Fognini Preview.