Ash Barty wins Wimbledon last year, now Nick Kyrgios wins Wimbledon this year, outrageous right? With Barty’s retirement we all thought the chances an Australian would win the Mens or Womens singles the following year were slim to none.
Well, Kyrgios could prove everyone wrong, with a high first serve percentage, moments of magic at the end of sets and some power forehands he could be a Wimbledon Champion early Monday morning Australian time. It’s hard to believe two weeks ago when this tournament started, but it’s a real possibility now.
The bookies have him paying $4.05, but I’d say it’s much closer than that, here’s why.
Why Nick will win
The serve is the key. He’s already hit 120 aces this tournament, even with a walkover against Rafa. If these serves are hitting the corners at pace there will be nothing Novak can do. Quick service games for Kyrgios puts huge pressure on Djokovic and if the baseline game is solid it would take a herculean effort from Novak to win. Again, it all starts and ends with a high first serve percentage, anything near 75% will be near impossible to beat.
Why Novak will win
Experience matters, this will the Serbians 32nd Grand Slam final, that’s nuts. Only he will know what it feels like as tournament staff make you wait before you stride onto Centre Court. The longer this match goes the more it favors Novak, he has been here before, long drawn out Slam finals, he will want to make it a war of attrition, solid consistent tennis with flashes of brilliance. If he doesn’t play too defensive he’ll win.
I’m wondering how much the crowd will play a factor here, remember in the semi against Cam Norrie, Novak got into it a little with the crowd with a few death stares. If Kyrgios turns this into pure theatre with a raucous atmosphere and gets the crowd behind him as the underdog then what does that do to Novak?
He’ll likely respond with his combative “me against the world” attitude, which has served him well in pressure moments but Kyrgios will push him mentally to the brink.
I’d love to see this turn into a battle of wills, I’d love to see it drag on into a 5th set, I want drama, drama, drama. How bad does Kyrgios want it, how bad does he want to prove the haters wrong? I want to see that question answered.
If he wills himself to a Wimbledon Championship, over Djokovic, who is already a legend of the game, then all the tanking matches, I want to retire, I hate tennis theatre won’t matter. He’ll always be a Wimbledon Champion, and he can shove that down anyone’s throat, which he probably will.
This is surprisingly tough to pick. Novak this year has shown signs in the rally of playing too conservative, if he does that on his own service games he could be in real trouble, but he will be desperate and desperate champions have a way to prevail.
I’m tipping Novak in 5 sets.