WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips as the Nick Kyrgios sideshow moves into the fourth round against bolter Brandon Nakashima.
19:00 (AEST), Mon 4th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: The two contrasting factors that make Nick Kyrgios such a box-office athlete – mind-blowing talent and outrageous histrionics – have been at their searing high and embarrassing low, respectively, over the past week.
But although Kyrgios has attracted plenty of negative comment for his behaviour towards the crowd, umpires and opponents at Wimbledon, it’s working in his favour for as long as it doesn’t negatively impact his tennis.
Since battling past unheralded Paul Jubb in five sets, Kyrgios has been sensational. He lost just six games in dismantling 26th seed Filip Krajinovic, then came from a set down to eliminate fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in an explosive encounter.
Kyrgios’ serve has been phenomenal and his range of groundstrokes and drop shots have catapulted him to the third line of title betting as he eyes off his first grand slam quarter-final appearance since 2015.
Next in the firing line is 20-year-old Brandon Nakashima, who is lining up in just his sixth grand slam and is through to the Round of 16 for the first time.
Climbing to 54th in the rankings, the American tyro produced some handy grass-court form in June and has carried that on at Wimbledon. He beat Nicola Kuhn in four sets, upset 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in four and powered past Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4 6-4 6-1.
Nakashima has lost just two games on serve so far and his returning ability is excellent. Kyrgios is likely to get dragged into more rallies than he is comfortable with.
It’s starting to get real for Kyrgios: this is a massive opportunity to deliver on his mostly wasted talent, but can he keep his own demons at bay? The attention on this clash is new challenge for Nakashima, meanwhile, and shapes as a decisive factor. Kyrgios, the $1.29 favourite, should find a way through this tricky assignment.