Nick Kyrgios is through to the quarter-finals of the 2022 US Open and takes on Karen Khachanov this evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Should be an amazing atmosphere! Here’s Kyrgios’ tournament to date.
- Rd 1 def. Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4)
- Rd 2 def. Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
- Rd 3 def. JJ Wolf 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
- Rd 4 def. Daniil Medvedev 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Following are 10 match metrics that have powered the Aussie into the quarters. They are definitely something for you to keep an eye on this evening!
1: RALLY LENGTH = SHORT
The average rally length in Kyrgios’ first four matches at the US Open is a brisk 3.4 shots. That’s very quick! He is not wanting to get into long, protracted rallies against his opponents. The Aussie is bringing the battle to the front of the point on purpose!
Almost three out of every four points (73%) Kyrgios has played in his first four matches has been in the 0-4 shot rally length. That means that he is hitting a maximum of just two shots in the court, and the same for his opponent. The first four shots of the rally are:
- Serve +1
- Return +1
That’s where Kyrgios is focusing his energy. Attack first. Ask questions later.
Kyrgios is playing the vast majority of his points in the 0-4 rally length, and he is also creating his biggest advantage. When the point lasts a maximum of four shots in the court, his advantage is +59 points (343 won / 284 lost). When the rally goes five shots or longer, his advantage is only +6 points (120 won / 114 lost)
Kyrgios is bringing havoc in the first four shots and essentially playing even in rallies longer than that.
2: NET POINTS WON = 65%
Kyrgios has come to the net 106 times in 14 sets, which equals 7.6 times per set. He has won 65% (69/106) of those points. These are all very healthy net numbers and help pinpoint a primary, winning strategy.
As a comparison, Daniil Medvedev only came to the net 74 times in 13 sets through the first four rounds, which equals 5.7 times per set.
Kyrgios wants to be at the net. His win percentage is outstanding, and the overall pressure it brings for opponents to have to hit a lot of passing shots is in Kyrgios’ favor.
3: SERVE & VOLLEY WON = 60%
Kyrgios has served and volleyed 25 times, winning 15. The most were against Medvedev in the fourth round when he won 10 of 17 (59%). He uses serve and volley as a smart secondary tactic to stop opponents from simply “bunting” his big serve back into the court to start the point. Rushing straight forward also keeps the point short and applies pressure at the front of the court.
4: BASELINE POINTS WON = 49%
In general, whenever you see a match stat under 50%, it’s bad. It’s a losing strategy. But for Kyrgios to be at 49% of baseline points won is actually a really good number! When Roger Federer won the 2017 Australian Open, he only managed to win 48% of his baseline points. When Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open, he only won 50% of his baseline points.
Kyrgios is doing just fine when he has to stand at the back of the court to battle his opponents.
5: GROUNDSTROKE PERFORMANCE
- Forehand Winners = 52
- Forehand Errors = 117
- +/- = -65
- Backhand Winners = 24
- Backhand Errors = 117
- +/- = -93
These are solid groundstroke numbers overall and really good metrics for his forehand. He has more than twice the amount of forehand winners over backhand winners (as you would expect) but also the exact same number of errors. The forehand is not getting wild, and he is crushing it at times, as he did against Medvedev to seal victory in the fourth set.
6: SERVE & RETURN PERFORMANCE
The point starts in four ways, and Kyrgios is doing a really good job of almost winning three of them.
- 1st Serve Points Won = 77%
- 2nd Serve Points Won = 58%
- 2nd Serve Return Points Won = 49%
- 1st Serve Return Points Won = 30%
The key metric here for Kyrgios is 2nd serve return points won. If you can break the 50% barrier and win more 2nd of your opponent’s seconds serve points, then that’s going to go a long way to taking the title.
7: SERVE GAMES WON/LOST
- Service Games Won = 63
- Service Games Lost = 6
- Hold % = 91%
This is the beating heart of Kyrgios’s game. He has such a powerful serve that is basically impossible to read. The toss is exactly the same for wide and T serves, which means the opponents can’t anticipate it. Kyrgios has played three tie-breaks this year at the US Open and won all three. You can’t expect to get such a clutch time in the match and get lucky against him. Got to break him to beat him.
8: ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
- 85 aces (5 on 2nd serves)
- 21 double faults
These are slightly more double faults than I would have expected from Kyrgios through four matches. The most were seven against Medvedev in the fourth round. But the number is not so high that it becoming a factor, especially when he has 85 aces to help cover up the 21 double faults.
9: UNRETURNED SERVES = 47%
This is a very impressive metric. Almost half (47%) of Kyrgios’ serves do not come back into play. They are either an ace or a return error. Opponents can’t read the serve and can’t guess which way it’s going. As a comparison, Medvedev only had 36% of serves unreturned. That’s a long way behind Kyrgios’ 47%.
10: BREAK POINTS
- Break Points Saved When Serving = 78% (21/27)
- Break Points Converted When Returning = 52% (16/31)
Kyrgios has generated more break points (31) when his opponent is serving than they have against him (27). That’s always a good sign! And the fact that he is converting slightly over half (52%) is another key metric in his run to the quarter-finals.
Kyrgios is playing scintillating tennis at the moment. He basically took the racket out of the hands of world No.1, Medvedev, in the last two sets of their fourth-round match.
He is serving so big in the big moments. He is stepping way inside the baseline to return and applying so much pressure to finish points at the front of the court. If he keeps up his current form, he will be extremely hard to stop from getting both hands on the US Open trophy.