The fourth-round US Open blockbuster between World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and 23rd seed Nick Kyrgios has lived up to its billing. Kyrgios took a hard-fought first set 7-6(11) to move within two sets of the quarter-finals.
Both men have played at a high level, with 2003 champion Andy Roddick tweeting, “This is awesome stuff. Super high level. Heavyweight fight.”
This is awesome stuff. Super high level. Heavyweight fight
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 4, 2022
The pair clashed just weeks ago in Montreal, where Kyrgios won a tightly contested three-setter. Based on the first set in Flushing Meadows, it will be another close encounter.
After Kyrgios brought out his showmanship early and tried to rally the crowd, Medvedev did the same, often encouraging fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to get louder with a wave. Early on, Medvedev showed a different returning strategy than he did in Canada, standing far closer to the baseline. Later in the set, he would mix it up to give his big-serving opponent different looks.
The defending champion overcame an early break deficit to push the set to a tie-break, in which he rallied from 3/5 down to earn three set points. On the third of those set points, at 8/7, Kyrgios hit a tricky backhand volley that just clipped the singles line.
Kyrgios put on the pressure from there, using his drop shot to great effect in the latter stages of the tie-break. On the set point he converted, the Australian faked a drop shot, leading to a missed passing shot from Medvedev.
Kyrgios leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 3-1 and is trying to claim his third victory against a player holding World No. 1. One of those triumphs came against Medvedev last month in Montreal. Medvedev must reach the final at Flushing Meadows to keep alive his hopes of retaining World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after the US Open.