Kyrgios vs Nadal odds
|Total||41.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time | How to watch||8:30 a.m. ET, Friday | ESPN|
|Odds via PointsBet. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal will rekindle their thrilling rivalry where it all began eight years ago, on center court at Wimbledon.
It was here that a baby-faced Kyrgios announced himself to the world, knocking out Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon with an extraordinary shot.
They have now played a total of nine times, and just about every encounter has been breathtaking.
We know you’ll be watching this one – the whole world will be. Now, which bet makes the most sense?
Let’s answer this question.
Nadal facing injury questions
Where to start with Nadal? He plays extraordinary tennis, is nine Grand Slam wins away from the calendar and faces an opponent he is 6-3 against. Slam dunk, right?
Well, not quite. The Spaniard managed to erase a two-sets-to-one deficit against Taylor Fritz in Wednesday’s quarter-final, but it wasn’t without problems.
It was no secret that Nadal entered this encounter with a small abdominal problem, and it seemed to have gotten bad enough in the second set that many were preparing to pull out of the proceedings.
Even Nadal’s own box was telling him to step off the pitch and leave the game, as he would confirm in the post-match press conference.
After treatment and a magic pill, Nadal pulled out guns blazing to bring it to Fritz and win in a fifth-set tiebreaker. While the match featured uncertainty in the middle, it must be said that Nadal eventually reached his normal first-serve speed around the fourth set and appeared to encounter no physical problems.
As of this writing, it’s still undecided whether or not Nadal will hit the pitch with the injury, but assuming he does, it looks like the injury could take his level down a notch. . He was clearly uncomfortable on Wednesday, although in typical Nadal fashion he was able to battle through the pain to produce quality when needed.
In terms of Nadal’s form outside of this game, it’s pretty wobbly. He dropped sets to players he shouldn’t drop at a Grand Slam in Francisco Cernundolo and Ricardas Berankis.
This statement is especially true given that they both came with Nadal leading 2-0. He also failed to serve the game cleanly in his next two outings. Although he was extraordinary against Fritz, it’s clear that we won’t get Nadal’s A game.
Kyrgios in a new place
There will be many books written about Nick Kyrgios, perhaps detailing that run at Wimbledon. I won’t bother writing them into this blurb, but I will tell you that it’s not the same Kyrgios we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years.
Kyrgios worked off the court, he recovered after games and he stayed focused on his tennis.
There was a clear trend at Wimbledon, and that was that Kyrgios coped with adversity incredibly well. He was pushed twice in five sets, he had to deal with about four balls thrown directly at him by Stefanos Tsitsipas’ racket, and he had to erase an early break against Cristian Garin on Wednesday in what was a very difficult game .
In all these positions. the former Kyrgios would have folded mentally. The more mature version of the Aussie has found a way to navigate these choppy waters, keep a cool head and score wins.
It’s no secret now that Kyrgios is one of the top four players on grass, possibly in the top three if you buy those odds. His massive serve, flat backhand and deft touch are a deadly combination on this surface. It’s where he calls home, and it’s where he’s gone 12-2 this season.
These two have met nine times. Kyrgios’ three wins came at Wimbledon in 2014 (their first match against each other), Cincinnati in 2017 and Acapulco in 2019.
Despite Kyrgios’ level being fleeting over the past three years, he still managed to knock out Nadal in all three defeats since winning Acapulco.
This year’s clash in Indian Wells is probably the closest thing we’ve got to gauging how this one will play out, and if that’s any indication, then it’s going to be a pretty good battle – and a Kyrgios can win. That match ended in a tiebreaker in the first set – won by Nadal – before going deep into the third. Kyrgios had his chances early, and if not for a clutch game from Nadal, he would have won this game.
Given the tight margins there, I consider this to be a very strong line. Kyrgios is going to be significantly better on a grass pitch than a painfully slow hard court, and Nadal will be a cut below where he was at Indian Wells given how long he’s been on the pitch here and the throbbing abdominal wound.
I think you have to play Kyrgios here with the thought that he will come out with more confidence and conviction against Nadal than anyone not named Novak. Considering his level on grass is truly the second best in the world right now (barring Matteo Berrettini, who is out of COVID), Kyrgios will be amped up for this one.
His head is in the right place, and so is his game.
I expect Kyrgios to bombard the serves and take the racket out of Nadal’s hands, and he should continue to come back well because he’s done the whole tournament. As tempting as it is to take Nadal with more money, he’s just not in top form at the moment.
Even if he was, he would still be – at best – a very slim favorite.
Take: Kyrgios ML (-150)