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Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev Australian Open Second Round Betting Odds, Preview & Prediction (Jan. 20)

Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev Australian Open Second Round Betting Odds, Preview & Prediction (Jan. 20) article feature image

Darrian Traynor/Getty. Pictured: Nick Kyrgios jokingly kicks a tennis ball in a match at the Australian Open.

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Nick Kyrgios vs. Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev Odds-850
Kyrgios Odds+550
Time3 a.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.

Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev will clash early Thursday morning in one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament thus far.

The Australian has defeated the world number two in both of their meetings, and he'll have a raucous crowd on his side. Will that be enough to help Kyrgios overcome his lack of match fitness? Let's dive into this one.

Kyrgios a Tough Character to Read at Times

There really isn't much to talk about here as it pertains to Kyrgios. Well, in terms of what's going on with him on-court, anyway.

The Aussie has barely played since the pandemic hit two years ago, going 15-11 across all levels since the start of the 2020 season. He did play the Australian Open in 2020 and Acapulco a month later, but he wasn't seen again until next year's Australian swing.

Kyrgios returned after a near-five month layoff for Wimbledon last summer, taking out one of the most in-form players at the time in Ugo Humbert in a grueling five-set affair. He'd pick up one more win before retiring in the third round with an injury and losing five of his next six matches.

What we learned at Wimbledon, though, is that Kyrgios can go from the couch to the court and take out nearly anyone. It should have come as no surprise that he showed up to the Aussie Open after four months off and looked great, coming through a match with a tricky opponent in Liam Broady in three easy sets.

While you could make the argument that Kyrgios isn't nearly at the same level he was two years ago given the lack of experience in matches, it appears he's been working on his serve while he's been away. He landed a blistering 82% of his first serves against Broady, racking up 21 aces in the process. While he might not be quite up to speed from the baseline, this will keep him in just about any match.

As noted above, Kyrgios holds a 2-0 lifetime record against Medvedev. He beat him on clay in Rome in 2019 before taking him down in the Washington final later that year in two tiebreaks. While Medvedev was unseasonably hot in the summer of 2019, which made that win downright impressive, that was also one of the best seasons of Kyrgios' career and he's far from that level at the moment.

Medvedev an Expert in Forcing Problems

The world number two wasn't perfect in his opening-round math with Henri Laaksonen, but it's really hard to argue with the result. Medvedev won 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 in a match where he landed 66% of his first serves but did need to face five break points.

At no time did it ever feel like Medvedev wasn't in control, but it's worth pointing out that he did have 21 winners to 23 unforced errors and relied heavily upon the 46 unforced errors which came his way from the other side of the net. Laaksonen made five unforced errors alone in the third-set tiebreak, a point it was crazy we even got to. Medvedev seemed to take the foot off the gas pedal and let Laaksonen hold with ease, which isn't unlike him. He will save his energy for when it counts.

It's also hard to really blame Laaksonen for losing the match, given Medvedev is known for forcing his opponents to make mistakes. He is an excellent defender and will get the unforced errors out of you one way or another, and will lure players into going for big, low-percentage winners.

Betting Value

This one is a hard one to handicap. On paper, this should be an absolutely cracking affair given Kyrgios has had Medvedev's number through the years. As we touched on, though, it's hard to call the 26-year-old the same player he was back in 2019 when he produced those wins.

Here's what we do know with the always-unpredictable Nick Kyrgios. He's serving as well has he ever has, and he'll have an incredible amount of crowd support under the lights in Melbourne. With those two tools at his disposal, it's hard to see this being a totally one-sided affair. Medvedev is a brilliant returner and defender, but this serve is one of the best in the game at the moment.

It's also worth noting that Kyrgios just played one backboard in Liam Broady, which should get him at least partially ready for this match. The jump up in level will be quite significant, but the play style is relatively similar.

Much like Washington, I see a tiebreak or two on the horizon for these two. I'm not sold on Kyrgios taking a set off of Medvedev, but with the way he's serving right now it's hard to see Kyrgios being broken more than three times. This number is a bit too low for my liking in a match which should feature at least one tiebreak.

Pick: Over 34.5 Games -130 (via Caesars)

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