With so many false dawns, it isn’t time to get fully excited about Nick Kyrgios‘ chances yet but the Australian will have few better opportunities to establish himself at the top as the tour likely transitions away from long term Big 4 domination. The Wimbledon finalist was seen as a controversial choice to be the second Arthur Ashe night match so dealing with Thanasi Kokkinakis with the minimum of fuss may silence a few of the doubters.
Even accounting for his good luck, it was an impressive run at Wimbledon that saw him in a singles slam final for the first time. He followed that up with the Washington title and also picked up another win against a World No.1 in Canada, beating Daniil Medvedev in three sets. Kyrgios has the game to go far but temperament and attitude have always been a hindrance – even with it showing in his Wimbledon run.
Kokkinakis looks likely to maintain a career as a solid top 100 player but the horrid injury luck in his early years look like they have hindered his development into something greater. His record over the last year has seen him deal with players in and around his ranking but often found wanting when it comes to players seen at a much higher level.
Kyrgios needs to just maintain professionalism in this one and not get distracted as often happens in matches between players that are very close friends as well as slam winning doubles partners. It should be fairly straight forward for him otherwise as he looks to prove his Wimbledon run was not just another hot streak but the sign of more meaningful things to come.
Prediction – Nick Kyrgios in three sets