The Best of the Day preview looks for a forehand winner with tennis tips for Nick Kyrgios’ showdown with the impressive Daniil Medvedev.
Tennis Tips – Daniil Medvedev V Nick Kyrgios
20:00 (AEST) @ Foro Italico, Rome
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Nick Kyrgios opens his Italian Open campaign against rising Russian force Daniil Medvedev.
The 23-year-old Medvedev is ranked 14th in the world, while Kyrgios has climbed back to No.36 in the world following some encouraging recent form.
The tempestuous Aussie won the Mexican Open in March, the fifth ATP title of his career. He beat Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and John Isner before downing Alexander Zverev in the final.
Kyrgios also made it to the last 16 of the Miami Open, but his three-set loss to Borna Coric was overshadowed by trademark outbursts and a run-in with a spectator.
Though his first ATP final – the 2015 Estoril Open – was on clay, it is not his favourite surface. After missing last year’s French Open (where his best showing was third-round appearances in 2015-16) he will be eager to build some momentum.
Medvedev has won four ATP tournaments since the start of 2018, including this year’s Sofia Open. His fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open in January was his best effort to date in a grand slam.
Medvedev put an unflattering record on clay behind him to reach the semis of the Monte Carlo Masters last month. He rolled Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas and world No.1 Novak Djokovic, before falling to Dusan Lajovic.
He then upset Kei Nishikori on his way to the final of the Barcelona Open, eventually losing to Dominic Thiem.
Kyrgios’ blistering talent is never bubbling too far below the surface. But he encounters a player in red-hot touch and full of confidence. Medvedev is the clear option as favourite here.