WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for Aussie firebrand Nick Kyrgios’ third-round date with 16th seed Felix Auger Aliassime.
23:00 (AEST), Sat 3rd Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 1: Auger Aliassime 1 V Krygios 0
Last meeting: Queen’s Club Championship, 2019 (R16): Auger Aliassime d Kyrgios 6-7 7-6 7-5
Final Thoughts: After a lengthy stint on the sidelines, Nick Kyrgios has reaffirmed his status as one of the most fascinating and magnetic players in men’s tennis.
He has powered into the third round at Wimbledon despite not playing since the Australian Open – and it’s been a typically enthralling ride.
Kyrgios won a first-round classic against 21st seed Ugo Humbert 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-1 9-7. He overcame adversity during a rollercoaster encounter, including a nasty slip and the match being suspended until the following day at 3-3 in the fifth set.
The 26-year-old then put away Gianluca Mager 7-6 6-4 6-4. Kyrgios’ blistering serve is on song, sending down 29 aces against Mager.
But Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime presents a new challenge in the third round. The 20-year-old has powered past Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-3 6-3 and Mikail Ymer 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-1 to continue a recent hot streak of form.
Auger Aliassime’s grass-court tune-up saw him reach the final of the Stuttgart Open and the semis of the Halle Open.
The pair’s only previous meeting was on grass. Auger Aliassime prevailed in a torrid three-setter at the 2019 Queen’s Club Championships.
Auger Aliassime’s best performances at a major so far are Round of 16 appearances at the 2020 US Open and this year’s Australian Open. Kyrgios has been past the third round of a Grand Slam just twice since Wimbledon 2016, when he made it to the last 16 at the 2018 and ’20 Australian Opens.
There is a sense that Kyrgios’ lack of court time in recent months will catch up on him. Auger Aliassime has the all-round game and the form on the board to take advantage of an underdone opponent. But Kyrgios’ box-office qualities and rocket serve will pile the pressure on the youngster. I’m expecting another five-set thrill ride.
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