Australian Open Day 8 Men’s Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios

Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open

The first week at the Australian Open saw no shortage of entertaining action, with a number of thrilling matches and some shocking upsets. Now, the competition is set to intensify, with the remaining eight players in the top half of the men’s draw set to battle for a place in the quarterfinals. We also have predictions for the four women’s matches. Offering their predictions for this slate of matches are Jim Smith, Damian Kust and Harsh Bhoot.

Australian Open Day 8 Predictions

Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios

Jim: When the draw was made at the end of last week, this was the potential match that immediately stood out. Nick Kyrgios has been playing with rare focus so far in Melbourne and deserves real credit for the manner in which he battled past Karen Khachanov in the third round. With little love lost between he and Rafael Nadal, a fiery encounter should be in store. But the Spaniard has looked formidable so far at the Australian Open, whilst Kyrgios’ marathon clash has surely taken something out of his legs.

Prediction: Nadal in 4

Damian: This has been a tricky matchup for the Spaniard in the past, but will it really be this time? Kyrgios looked dead on his feet in the later stages against Khachanov, while Nadal should come into this match as fresh as a daisy. The sheer power of the Australian’s serve will allow him to keep it relatively close, but after his fitness was exposed against Khachanov, I don’t really trust his stamina to last against the relentless Nadal.

Prediction: Nadal in 4

Harsh: Expect an electric atmosphere when Nadal takes on Kyrgios. Their past meetings haven’t been short of drama and if the crowd gets involved, this could turn into a titanic battle. Nadal hammered Carreno Busta in the third round, whilst Kyrgios had a long and tiring match against Khachanov. Kyrgios has looked motivated in Melbourne, but as well as he has been playing, Nadal looks extremely strong and should be able to wear Kyrgios down.

Prediction: Nadal in 4
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Gael Monfils vs Dominic Thiem

Jim: Dominic Thiem was far from convincing in the second round, where he was taken the distance by Alex Bolt. But he bounced back against Taylor Fritz, beating the American 6-2 6-4 6-7 6-4. Gael Monfils, meanwhile, has looked very sharp, dropping just one set in reaching the last 16. But he has struggled to maintain momentum into the second week at Major recently and has lost all five of his meetings with Thiem. Expect more frustration for the Frenchman.

Prediction: Thiem in 4

Damian: Neither Thiem nor Monfils has a great record in Melbourne. Monfils is looking to reach only his second quarterfinal and Thiem hasn’t been past the fourth round. The Austrian has found his path through to the second week fairly difficult, whilst Monfils has faced some big servers in Ernests Gulbis and Ivo Karlovic. The Frenchman has been very solid off the ground, but rather passive and I believe that will hurt him against Thiem. The Austrian has bigger and much more varied offensive weaponry and may well back himself physically.

Prediction: Thiem in 4

Harsh: Both players have delivered some good performances so far, but this is not a good matchup for Monfils. The Frenchman has never beaten Thiem and a reversal in fortunes looks unlikely. The Austrian has improved leaps and bounds on hard courts of late and will surely be the favourite if the match goes long. Thiem has had to work hard to make the second week, but he’s been finding a way to win. Expect that to continue against Monfils.

Prediction: Thiem in 4
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Alexander Zverev vs Andrey Rublev

Jim: If there were questions over whether or not Alexander Zverev had found some form after winning his first two matches at the Australian Open, he answered them with an emphatic win over the dangerous Fernando Verdasco. But he will surely need to be at his very best against Andrey Rublev, who has not lost a match the end of October. But Rublev has never beaten Zverev. In fact, he has not yet come close. He may well provide sterner resistance here, but it is hard to argue against such an emphatic head-to-head deficit.

Prediction: Zverev in 5

Damian: The Russian hasn’t taken a set off Zverev in their previous three meetings. Is backing the German here going against the grain then? Perhaps, but I believe the Rublev’s fifteen-match winning streak might be coming to an end. The Russian surely has to start feeling tired at some point and I think the Zverev is suddenly playing well enough to capitalize. He was very impressive in his wins over Gerasimov and Verdasco and won’t let Rublev bully him around the court.

Prediction: Zverev in 4

Harsh: Rublev may be the in-form player in 2020, but he has never beaten Zverev. That being said, the Russian is on a roll and Zverev has consistently underperformed at the Majors. The German is yet to drop a set, but it’s tough seeing him beating a player who’s not afraid to hold back on crucial points. Expect Rublev to continue his impressive start to 2020.

Prediction: Rublev in 4
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Daniil Medvedev vs Stan Wawrinka

Jim: Daniil Medvedev made steady progress through the first week at the Australian Open, with 2019 quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe the only man to take a set off him so far. Stan Wawrinka, who advanced to the second week courtesy of John Isner’s retirement, may well feel he has the game to change that. But the Swiss is not the player he once was. Expect Medvedev to grind him down, just as he did at the US Open.

Prediction: Medvedev in 4

Damian: Medvedev has dropped just one set so far, to Tiafoe in the first round. Wawrinka, meanwhile, has been struggling with a viral illness, but should be rested after his third-round clash with John Isner was cut short due to the American’s foot injury. The Russian doesn’t have the same easy power of the Swiss, but he is also a much more consistent baseliner. Medvedev will know that he can’t afford to give Wawrinka much time and space to unleash his groundstrokes and I believe he’ll make the needed amendments to his tactical play.

Prediction: Medvedev in 4

Harsh: Wawrinka has been playing well, but Medvedev is in exceptional form. The Russian is one of the most tactically astute players in the men’s game and got the better of Wawrinka at the US Open. If he’s at his best he should be able to draw errors from the hard-hitting Wawrinka. Expect the Russian to frustrate the Swiss and eventually wrestle control of the match.

Prediction: Medvedev in 4

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