ATP Wimbledon Day Eight Tips: Kyrgios back in action on day of heavy favourites
Round four action in the men's singles at Wimbledon continues on Monday, with four matches on the schedule to finish the round. Dan Weston previews the day ahead...
Improving Nadal should have little difficulty progressing
Rafa Nadal and Nick Kyrgios are the big names on the Monday schedule, with Nadal facing the Dutchman, Botic Van De Zandschulp and Kyrgios taking on the American prospect, Brandon Nakashima.
Nadal, as to be expected, is a strong pre-match favourite against the world number 26, who has had solid wins over Feliciano Lopez, Emil Ruusuvuori and Richard Gasquet to get to this stage. Nadal has dropped two sets so far in the opening three rounds, but was more assured against higher quality opposition in Lorenzo Sonego in round three on Saturday.
The improved Nadal should have little difficulty in progressing, but Van De Zandschulp is a competent grass courter and if Nadal has an off day, you never know.
Kyrgios with magnificent grass court numbers this season
While Nadal was beating Sonego on Saturday, Nick Kyrgios was in the middle of an extremely bad-tempered match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, which was full of drama and ended up in a well-deserved four set victory with Kyrgios creating far more in the way of break point chances.
Personally, I was delighted to see the Australian progress given that his matches are almost always extremely watchable, and I like players with personality in sport.
Kyrgios should be able to continue his progression against Nakashima, who has decent talent and potential for sure but should find Kyrgios has too many tools for him on grass. This season on grass, Kyrgios is winning 75% of service points and 34% of return points - numbers which are elite for a big-server - and this makes him a justified favourite at 1.31.
De Minaur should get past clay-courter Garin
Another heavy favourite - something of a theme on Monday - is Alex De Minaur against Christian Garin. The Australian, De Minaur, is 1.20 to get past Garin and likely face Kyrgios in the quarter finals in an all-Australian clash.
Garin, who usually does his best work on clay, has done well to get to this stage, but quick-condition specialist De Minaur has both the ability and the conditions in his favour for this match-up, and beat Garin easily at Eastbourne on grass several weeks ago. De Minaur losing this would be as big a surprise as Nadal or Kyrgios losing on Monday.
Fritz to end Kubler's shock run
Australians have done well in this event this year, and there's another one featuring in the final fourth round match to discuss. Jason Kubler is another who has done his best work on clay in the past, but has underdog wins over Jack Sock and Dan Evans in the main draw after qualifying.
Unfortunately for Kubler, his next opponent Taylor Fritz is a strong grass-courter and the five sets which Kubler needed to beat Sock is unlikely to be in his favour either - particularly when you consider it lasted in excess of four hours. Fritz has won every match here in straight sets so far, and I think that he should ease past Kubler on Monday as well.
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