For the second straight year Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios are set to square off at Wimbledon. Last year the two met in the quarterfinals which Raonic won in four sets 67(4) 62 64 76(4). This year the two meet in the third round to determine who makes it to Manic Monday and the round-of-16.
This is a battle of totally polar opposite personalities. Both players have developed a uniqueness to them since they last met.
On one side there is Raonic. The 24-year-old is calm, cool, and has a relaxed swagger about him. He has his hair completely gelled back to the point it just never moves even on the windiest of days. Then he wears a sleeve on his right arm. Like a baseball pitcher keeping his arm warm between innings, Raonic keeps his arm warm to blast 140mph serves past his opponents. On top of the looks he is within himself on-court; he is never one to draw attention to himself. Raonic is all business.
And then there is Kyrgios. Kyrgios is the complete opposite of Raonic when it comes to on-court persona. He has a swagger about him too, but one that lives for the limelight. He loves the attention, whether it is a scuffle with an umpire like in his last match with Juan Monaco, or a trick shot that he’ll then bask in the glory of. The 20-year-old has the swagger that of a rock star. Now whether this rock star like persona hurts his play and holds back his full potential is yet to be determined, but for now he is one of the hottest young stars in the sport and has a chance to reach at least the round-of-16 for a second straight year at Wimbledon.
So how does the calm Raonic match-up against the glory basking Kyrgios? Although they both have differently personalities, their style of game has a similarity. Raonic has one of the greatest serves in the history of the sport. The speed and precision of his serves wins him many easy points. In his first two matches he has racked up a total of 54 aces. That cuts down on the workload for Raonic which can save him energy that he can then use to break his opponent’s serve. This high amount of aces also benefits Raonic because he is coming off foot surgery and the less running around the less stress that is exerted on his foot.
As for Kyrgios, he does not have one of the greatest serves in tennis history, but it is still an important part of his game like Raonic. In Kyrgios’ first two matches he tallied 28 aces. That is not nearly as many as Raonic, but it is a high amount.
Now for where the match will be won and lost.
The most effective way to have a chance at beating Raonic is to just keep the ball in play because as the stats show from Raonic’s first two matches he is an unforced error machine. The Canadian has amassed a total of 66 unforced errors in his two matches whereas Kyrgios has made just 35. That could hurt Raonic dearly and may cost him the match if he is unable to keep the error count down against Kyrgios.
In all likelihood there will be at least one tiebreak in the match because of the serve power both players possess. It is imperative, however, for Kyrgios more than Raonic to take advantage of break point opportunities when they arise because it is very risky to chance winning a tiebreaker against the serving of Raonic. Kyrgios so far has been decent on break point opportunities converting 8 of 16 in his two matches. He will need to be just as good, if not better, against Raonic on converting break points.
Prediction: I think the #26 seed Kyrgios pulls off the upset over #7 Raonic in four sets. The match will be highly entertaining and one thing I think is for certain is that Raonic vs. Kyrgios won’t disappoint.
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