Nick Kyrgios vs. Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Odds, Preview, Prediction (July 8)
Shi Tang/Getty. Pictured: Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios vs. Nadal Odds
|Total||41.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time | How to Watch||8:30 a.m. ET, Friday | ESPN|
|Odds via PointsBet. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
Editor's Note: This match was cancelled following Rafael Nadal's withdrawal due to an abdominal injury.
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal will renew their thrilling rivalry where it all began eight years ago, on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
It was here that a baby-faced Kyrgios announced himself to the world, taking out Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon with some extraordinary shotmaking.
They've now played a total of nine times, and just about every encounter has been breathtaking.
We know you'll be watching this one — the whole world will be. Now, what bet makes the most sense?
Let's answer that question.
Nadal Facing Injury Questions
Where do we begin with Nadal? He's playing some extraordinary tennis, is nine wins away from a calendar Grand Slam and is facing an opponent he's 6-3 against. Slam dunk, right?
Well, not quite. The Spaniard did manage to erase a two sets-to-one deficit against Taylor Fritz in Wednesday's quarterfinal, but it wasn't without issue.
It was no secret Nadal had come into that encounter with a bit of an abdominal issue, and it appeared to get bad enough in the second set that many were bracing for a retirement from the proceedings.
Even Nadal's own box was telling him to leave the court and quit the match, as he would confirm in the post-match press conference.
After some treatment and a magic pill, Nadal came out guns blazing to take it to Fritz and power through in a fifth-set tiebreak. While the match featured uncertainty in the middle, it should be said Nadal was eventually hitting his normal first serve speeds around the fourth set and appeared to be facing no physical issues whatsoever.
As of this writing, it's still not determined whether or not Nadal will even take the court with this injury, but assuming he does, it would seem the injury could take his level down a notch. He was in clear discomfort on Wednesday, though in typical Nadal fashion he was able to fight through the pain to produce quality when needed.
In terms of Nadal's form outside of this match, it's pretty wobbly. He dropped sets to players he should not be dropping sets to at a Grand Slam in Francisco Cernundolo and Ricardas Berankis.
That statement is especially true considering they both came with Nadal leading 2-0. He also failed to serve out the match cleanly in his next two outings. While he was extraordinary against Fritz, it's clear we're not getting Nadal's A-game.
Kyrgios In A New Place
There will be many books written about Nick Kyrgios, perhaps extensively chronicling this Wimbledon run. I won't bother authoring those in this blurb, but I will tell you that this is not the same Kyrgios we have grown accustomed to seeing throughout the years.
Kyrgios has put in the work off the court, he has been recovering after matches and he has stayed focused on his tennis.
There has been a clear pattern at Wimbledon, and that is that Kyrgios has done incredibly well in the face of adversity. He was pushed to five sets twice, he had to face about four balls rocketed right at him off the racquet of Stefanos Tsitsipas, and he had to erase an early break against Cristian Garin on Wednesday in what was a very difficult match.
In all of those positions. the old Kyrgios would have folded mentally. The more mature version of the Aussie has found a way to navigate these choppy waters, keep his head and get wins.
It's no secret now that Kyrgios is a top-four player on grass, perhaps top-three if you buy into these odds. His massive serve, flat backhand and deft touch are a deadly combination on this surface. It's where he feels at home, and it's where he's gone 12-2 this season.
These two have met nine times. The three Kyrgios wins came at Wimbledon in 2014 (their first match against one another), Cincinnati in 2017 and Acapulco in 2019.
Despite the fact that Kyrgios' level has been fleeting over the course of the last three years, he's still managed to take a set off of Nadal in the three losses since his win in Acapulco.
This year's clash at Indian Wells is likely the closest thing we have to measuring how this one will go, and if that is any indication then this is going to be a very good battle — and one Kyrgios can win. That match went to a first-set tiebreak – won by Nadal – before going deep into the third. Kyrgios had his chances early, and if not for some clutch play from Nadal he would have won that match.
Given the tight margins there, I consider this a very solid line. Kyrgios is going to be significantly better on a grass court than a painfully slow hard court, and Nadal is going to be a notch below where he was at Indian Wells given the amount of time he's spent on court here and the nagging abdominal injury.
I think you have to play Kyrgios here with the thought that he will come out with more confidence and conviction against Nadal than anyone not named Novak. Considering his level on grass is truly the second-best in the world right now (excluding the COVID-absent Matteo Berrettini), Kyrgios will be amped for this one.
His head is in the right place, as is his game.
I expect Kyrgios to bomb serves and take the racquet out of Nadal's hands, and he should continue to return well as he's done all tournament. As tempting as it is to take Nadal at plus money, he's simply not in top shape at the moment.
Even if he was, he'd still be — at best — a very slim favorite.
Pick: Kyrgios ML (-150)