Nick Kyrgios’ 2022 campaign a resounding success despite quarter final loss
With Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal not taking part in the US Open quarter finals for the first time since 2003, this year’s major at Flushing Meadows was ripe for the picking. With the week’s last eight made up of players 27 years of age or younger, it provided the sport’s next generation of stars the opportunity to break onto the scene and assert themselves as one’s to watch on tour.
One player in particular who had the chance to solidify his legacy was Nick Kyrgios, whose form in 2022 has been nothing short of exceptional. In addition to his incredible natural ability, Kyrgios’ flair, personality and controversial antics ensures he is must-see tv every time he steps on the court. And if he could have justified the tennis betting odds which had him as the 13/8 favourite to win it all heading into his quarter final match-up – it would have gone a long way to silencing the critics who believe he isn’t devoted to the game.
He couldn’t get it done however, losing in a nail-biting five set affair against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. While that will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Australian, his career is on an upward trajectory that we haven’t seen throughout his time on tour to date. To understand the enigma that is Kyrgios, you have to understand the rocky journey he has been on since turning professional.
The now 27-year-old burst onto the scene eight years ago, when he made a deep run at Wimbledon which saw him reach the quarter finals. After putting forth such an impressive display at a young age, fans and pundits were salivating at what the future held for the Australian.
What followed was a disappointing seven years, with his behaviour on the court appearing to overshadow his play. His unpredictable and at times vulgar outbursts clearly hampered his performance – as although he showed glimpses of his undeniable ability – it didn’t translate to results. With the exception of a couple of fourth round finishes at Wimbledon and the Australian Open respectively, Kyrgios looked as though he was going to be a classic “what if” type prospect.
That all changed this year, with his commitment to the sport and mental side of the game becoming more and more apparent. That was evident in his double’s title victory with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open in January. The mental fortitude required to win that tournament gave Kyrgios a much-needed boost in inner-belief – and he hasn’t looked back.
After an incredible run at this year’s Wimbledon that saw him lose in the final in four sets to all-time great Novak Djokovic, Kyrgios has been brimming with confidence ever since. That was proven in his first four matches at Flushing Meadows, where he dominated his opponents with exceptional stroke-play and his ever-reliable service game – which included a win over number one seed Daniil Medvedev.
Although his US Open campaign would ultimately end at the hands of Khachanov, Kyrgios’ form and shift in mentality would suggest that we can expect more consistency as we head into 2023. While it’s promising to see a more reliable Kyrgios, will he ever get as good an opportunity to win a major? Probably not – however – if he can shrug off the disappointment and return in January at the Australian Open fully fit, don’t be surprised if he’s there competing in the latter rounds.
For those who have access to free tennis betting tips, Kyrgios’ odds are 10/1 to take out the Australian Open.