Atlanta (1st round): Kevin Anderson – Nick Kyrgios

Latest confrontations

Kevin Anderson has won the previous two meetings against Nick Kyrgios :

  • In 2016 in Chengdu (hard), in 3 sets including a tie-break win.
  • In 2017 at Roland Garros (clay), in 4 sets (without going through the “tie-break” this time).

Two without three for the South African, or first for the Australian?

Tournament history

Kevin Anderson has already played 6 times in Atlanta, between 2010 and 2016. He has only lost twice in the first round (but always in the second round thanks to his ranking). He has also reached the quarter-finals 3 times, the semi-finals twice and the final once (in 2013, he lost to Isner).

As for Nick Kyrgios, he has played twice before in the main draw of this ATP 250:

  • 2016: Lifted trophy against John Isner (two sets and two tie-breaks).
  • 2018 : Withdrawal in 1/4 finals.

We are dealing with two players who have never lost in the first round of this tournament, which is quite successful for them.

Analysis

After his withdrawn in the 3rd round of Wimbledon, Nick Kyrgios went to the Bahamas to relax with his new girlfriend. He obviously had the opportunity to do some physical activity and hit the ball. But we’re a long way from Kevin Anderson, who was playing and winning the ATP 250 in Newport (on grass) during that time. Still, I expect Nick Kyrgios to be able to put together a satisfactory match.

Also, it is important to know that the Atlanta surface is very fast and favors powerful players and big serves. These two opponents of the day know perfectly how to exploit this surface with their powerful serve and explosive forehand. So we could see a nice show.

So it’s not easy to come up with a logical winner and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or more tie-breaks if these two guys keep a high percentage of first balls.

The last time Kevin Anderson and Nick Kyrgios played each other was in 2017 and the South African was 31 years old. Now 35, he is even less mobile than in previous matches against the Aussie and that could make the difference in this match.

Indeed, it is interesting to highlight Nick Kyrgios’ ability to make his opponents move. Whether it’s with powerful drop shots on the opposite side of the court or surprising drop shots, the Australian has the ability to take Kevin Anderson out of his comfort zone.

If he plays this match seriously, then Nick Kyrgios must manage to create some chances before arriving at a possible tie-break which would prove to be quite random. In the tie-breaks, let’s note that the Australian won the 4 he had to play this season, while Kevin Anderson has a 50% success rate in 2021 (on 14 tie-breaks played).

The seriousness of Kevin Anderson facing the (controlled?) madness of Nick Kyrgios. On paper, this match has a lot of potential. In any case, it’s a match not to be missed.

Prediction: Nick Kyrgios

High risk

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