Nick Kyrgios vs. Milos Raonic
|Date & Time||Monday January 14, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Nick Kyrgios and Milos Raonic meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios has played just four matches since Moscow, two of which were exhibition matches, so there’s no telling what type of player we’re going to get here. Of course, when Kyrgios is on and playing motivated tennis, he’s capable of beating anybody in the world and has a grand slam title in his future if he really wants it. There’s also the fact this is Kyrgios’ home grand slam and he’s never lost in the first round of the Australian Open. There’s things working in favor of Kyrgios, but there’s also the player who throws matches and doesn’t try much on the return. Which Kyrgios are we going to get? Kyrgios has lost four of his last five matches on hard court.
Milos Raonic reached the quarterfinals in Brisbane and recently had an exhibition match against John Millman, so he should be ready to go. Raonic has been in a funk recently, as he’s lost six of his last nine matches on the main tour and has really struggled with his return. Raonic is still bombing aces and winning a high number of his service points, which is a good sign, but the Canadian doesn’t have that pep in his step we’re used to seeing. It’s going to take a win like this to likely get Raonic back on track. Raonic has lost in the first round of a grand slam once since 2012, which was in last years Australian Open. Raonic has split his last four matches on hard court.
These two have played seven times and Kyrgios has won four of those matches. The most recent match was in London in 2016, a match Raonic won in three sets. Kyrgios has won both matches on hard court and four of the seven matches have been decided in straight sets.
This is an intriguing match, as Kyrgios is unpredictable but capable of making a deep tournament run, while Raonic is a consistent grand slam contender but isn’t playing well at the moment. There’s a lot of questions across the board. Flip a coin type match. I’m giving Kyrgios the edge, however, as this is his home tournament and he usually plays to the crowd and wants to do well.
Raonic has caved in a lot of his recent matches and he won’t have many chances to improve his return against the Aussie’s serve.