The No. 2 seed in the Australian Open cruised to an opening-round win with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 win over unseeded Henri Laaksonen. Daniil Medvedev had to work in the final set, but was in control of Laaksonen through most of the match.
With Novak Djokovic back in Serbia because of the court order to have his visa rescinded, Medvedev is the highest-seed in the first Grand Slam tournament of 2022. Medvedev’s path is easier to earn his second career Grand Slam.
The last Grand Slam @DaniilMedwed played? The 2021 US Open…
Welcome back, Daniil! ? pic.twitter.com/rJ3RdfkxRi
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) January 18, 2022
This is the same guy that beat Djokovic to ruin his bid at a calendar Grand Slam in the US Open. Medvedev is not a competitor to take lightly despite Djokovic having to drop out. He is in good form at the moment and could be entering the best stage of his career after the US Open win.
Would Djokovic have won? Probably, but that doesn’t mean there is a weak field in Melbourne that he’d walk over, especially deep into the tournament. With that in mind, no, there is no asterisk next to the Australian Open winner with Djokovic out.
Medvedev looked like a player that can beat anyone in the world after defeating Djokovic in the US Open and his opening performance versus Laaksonen. The only thing that was slowing Medvedev down in his first match of the Australia Open was double faults.
He takes on the hometown hero in Nick Kyrgios in the second-round. I’m not saying that Kyrigios is better than Medvedev, but the Russian has to be careful in this spot. The Aussie is a player that goes hot and cold.
His serve can be incredibly difficult to track when he’s interested in playing. Britain’s Liam Broady took on the antagonist role at John Cain Arena. Broady was jeered and booed as the crowd gave Kyrgios a serious home-court advantage.
Nick Kyrgios was having too much fun in the first round of the Australian Open ?
? Underarm tweener serve
? Casually hit a tweener mid-rally
? Hit Cristiano Ronaldo's "Siu" celebration
? Drank a fan's beer after the win pic.twitter.com/nEDpqdnhWW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 18, 2022
Kyrigios walked through Broady for a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win. He feeds off energy, so we’ll see if it springs him to a huge upset in the Round of 64. The home crowd was squarely in Kyrigios corner the first time.
Head below for our free Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev prediction on January 20, 2022.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev Australian Open Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Nick Kyrgios||+5.5 (-105)||+525||Over 35.5 (-115)|
|Daniil Medvedev||-5.5 (-115)||-725||Under 35.5 (-105)|
|Team Data||Nick Kyrgios||Daniil Medvedev|
|Overall Record (2021)||7-7||50-12|
|Overall Sets Record (2021)||22-20||125-44|
|Hard Court Record (2021)||5-6||39-8|
|Hard Court Sets Record (2021)||15-17||94-29|
Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev Prediction:
In my view, the frustration with Nick Kyrgios is that he’s had the potential to be one of the better players in the ATP Tour. An every tournament contender like Daniil Medvedev?
Probably not, but if he showed more motivation to be better, Kyrgios would be a threat to win a Grand Slam and go deep in tournaments regularly.
There are times he seems more interested in something else other than tennis. Having said that, when Kyrgios is focused and motivated, he can play like a champion.
After a bout with Covid putting his appearance in the Australian Open in doubt, Kyrgios crushed his first-round opponent. He had 21 aces to Liam Broady’s 6 aces while winning the first serve 81% of the time.
Kyrgios’ giant serve was largely in perfect form, as he suffered just one double fault. When he starts making multiple self-induced mistakes, that’s when the house comes crumbling down for him.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2022
However, Kyrgios was largely unfazed against Broady. Kyrgios showed little interest at the US Open and was chased out of the tournament after one match against Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets.
He appears to have a different mindset at home in Melbourne. Kyrgios had the right mindset in his first two matches versus Medvedev. He is 2-0 in two matches in 2019 against the Russian.
Kyrgios won in Rome in the first win, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. He followed up in Washington later in the year with a 7-6, 7-6 win. Medvedev is in better form than back then, though Kyrgios’ serve has given him issues before.
Medvedev is not losing this in straight sets. He likely isn’t losing, but Kyrgios might steal some points in this one. Especially true if Medvedev commits three double faults as he did against Laaksonen in the first-round.
Look for Medvedev to move on to the Round of 32 with a win over Kyrgios, but not before he has to work for the win over the Aussie on his home soil. I’d point towards the OVER points in this contest.