Nick Kygios played one of the best matches of his pro career last night to defeat No. 1 ranked Daniil Medvedev 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, and advance to the quarter-finals of the US Open. It was a spectacular match with some incredible shot-making.
Big game on the big stage.
Kyrgios served lights out, crushing 21 aces. He hit 53 total winners and ended up at the net 47 times in four sets, which equals around 12 times a set. That’s bordering on double the tour average. He won a solid 62% of total net points and was always looking to step into the ball and come forward in the point.
Not only are the numbers impressive, but it was the Aussie’s game style that stood out the most. Medvedev likes to stand way back to return serve. He had to adjust that against Kyrgios because of the serv and volleying. Medvedev likes to stand deep in the court to rally. He had to adjust that against Kyrgios’ drop shots. In short, the world No. 1 had to constantly change his game style and where he stood on the court while Kyrgios freely dictated play.
Kygios Post-Match Interview
“I just thought I played the right way. I returned unbelievable today. Just thought the third and fourth sets were just so free,” Kyrgios said. “I was just having a lot of fun, embracing every moment out on Ashe today. Really proud of that.”
“Obviously, I felt like I disrupted his rhythm a little bit, didn’t let him kind of get comfy behind the baseline, play his style of tennis. I think that’s what you have to do,” Kyrgios said. “But I was overall pretty happy with my performance.”
Our sport has recently seen more and more players moving BACKWARDS to win matches. We see it with the return position of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, and Casper Ruud.
The antidote for that is a forward-moving opponent.
The antidote is Nick Kyrgios.
Here’s how aggressive his court position was last night…
ESPN Graphic: 2022 US Open – Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev
Nick hit 42% of his rally balls inside the baseline and only 10% from further back than six feet behind the baseline.
These are the type of images we used to see from Roger Federer in New York. We have not seen these numbers in quite some time.
The graphic below is Medvedev v Berrettini from the ATP Cup in January. I don’t have the Medvedev graphic vs. Kyrgios last night, but this graphic tells the story of where Medvedev liked to be on the court = wayyy back.
Hawk-Eye Graphic: 2022 ATP Cup: Medvedev def. Berrettini 6-2, 6-7, 6-4
What stands out in this graphic is the 33% deep behind the baseline. That style of play is completely disrupted by Kyrgios serving and volleying and approaching and volleying all the time. It’s also disrupted by Kyrgios moving inside the baseline to hit drop shots.
Kyrgios is playing an aggressive game style that opponents are not used to seeing.
- He is punishing his forehand.
- He is crushing aces.
- He is serving and volleying.
- He is hitting a lot of clever volleys back behind opponents.
- He is stepping way inside the baseline to make contact with returns.
- He is forcing Serve +1 errors.
- He is hitting return approaches.
- He is taking time away to prepare.
- He is completely disrupting the opponent’s preferred rhythm and time.
It’s great to see Nick composed on the court and finally show the tennis world what he is really capable of.
Looking forward to the rest of the tournament!