Nick Kyrgios vs Novak Djokovic | Wimbledon 2022 Final preview - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios vs Novak Djokovic | Wimbledon 2022 Final preview

A match too crazy too call!



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After 10 years Kyrgios is again in a Wimbledon final: in 2012 the Australian played and won the junior doubles final, enjoying the victory of his idol Federer the very same year on Center Court; today he will instead take the field to play the final against Djokovic. The Serbian, although showing only flashes of his best tennis, arrived as expected at the final stop. Perhaps the world of esports will have to wait a little longer (Kyrgios had been chosen by Sony as a testimonial for the launch of playstation 5 in Australia and had declared “I think that, once I reach 10 years of career, I will devote myself to video games.”)


But in the real world, has he got more chances to clinch the title than in the virtual world?

According to the betting sites, the favorite is obviously Djokovic, while the odds for Kyrgios are higher than 4:1, a considerable gap for a Grand Slam final. However, according to the Wimbledon power index (a service developed by IBM, as a technological partner), a slight advantage is given to Kyrgios

Ubitennis will leave it to you to decide, from our part we will provide some historical data and a few interpretations.

Head to Head and Big match attitude: these are some of Djokovic’s thoughts after his win against Norrie;

He’s a big-match player (refer to Kyrgios). If you see his career, the best tennis he’s played is always against the top guys,” Djokovic said. “That’s why we all respect him because we know what he can come up with. It’s going to be [an] interesting match.” 

Kyrgios in a single match can beat anyone, that’s arguably something over everybody agrees. Our gut tells us that Djokovic’s statement is correct since we all know how Kyrgios has been able to beat anyone in the past; also he is one of the few who can show a positive record against Djokovic. But it is worth remembering that both matches date back to the first half of 2017, perhaps the worst period of Djokovic’s career, conditioned by a wrist injury and by a poor focus, that led him to the abandonment of his historic coach Marian Vajda. Since then there have been no more direct clashes, and therefore it will be interesting to see also from a tactical point of view how the match will develop. Finally, a bit of fact-checking: on grass Kyrgios’ record against the top 20 is 6 won and 10 lost.

5th set attitude: Given the ups and downs shown by Djokovic against Sinner and Norrie and the ability of Kyrgios to come up with great tennis peaks, the hypothesis that the match can go to the distance is not so strange. Of course, Djokovic knows how to play the games in the 5th set, the tennis land of fatigue and tension: the Serbian boasts a record of 37 wins and 10 losses in the fifth set, and in particular here at Wimbledon posts an unreal 10-1; the only defeat dates back to 2006 when a still teenager Nole lost to Mario Ancic. In short, if the match were to go to the fifth, we would not bet against the Serbian.

On the other hand, Kyrgios’ career in 5 set matches is much shorter. In the 13 matches that has gone to the distance, he won on 9 occasions; to be fair against not-so-great opponents; Nick managed to get out of the hole of the two sets of disadvantage only 1 time, a feat that Nole has managed 7 times.

Grass court attitude: If we look at Djokovic’s percentages on grass we realize how ridiculously good he is. If we look at the restricted club of players who have won more than 100 matches on grass in the open era, Nole is here:

Grass: Matches Won
1. Roger Federer = 86.9% (192-29)
2. Pete Sampras = 85.71% (90/105)
3. Novak Djokovic = 85.0% (102-18)

Federer and Sampras have built their grass-court status from the serving side, while Djokovic leads the duo when returning, adding a solid performance on serve

Grass: Service Points Won
No 5: Pete Sampras = 72.93%
No. 8: Roger Federer = 72.35%
No. 23: Novak Djokovic = 70.02%

Grass: Return Points Won
No. 19: Novak Djokovic = 39.60%
No. 47: Roger Federer = 38.24%
No. 81: Pete Sampras = 37.14%

Talking about Kyrgios, it is arguably better to concentrate on this tournament, conisdering that he never won a tournament on grass in his career

Tactical key of the match: the Aussie’s serve: in some ways the player’s profile is not so dissimilar to Berrettini’s, and we know how Nole has a superhuman ability to demise big servers. Assuming that Kyrgios will replicate the first serve performance shown in this tournament we could expect 68% of first serve in, with a rate of success of 79%; small problem: Djokovic return. During his career the Serbian was able to display this kind of numebers:

1st serve return point won2nd serve return point won

If we had to choose a proxy match for tomorrow’s final, maybe we could choose Medvedev – Kyrgios at the 2022 Australian Open; in that match, these were some words from Kyrgios:

“I was landing consistent 220-230kph serves close to the lines, what more can I do??’ “The way I played today I would win against 95% of the tour.”

The feeling is therefore that within each set we should pay attention to the success rate of Kyrgios’ first serve; if the guy from Canberra manages to hold on and maintain the numbers shown during the tournament it is likely that we will have a final worthy of Wimbledon center court; otherwise, if the percentages were to diverge significantly downwards, it is evident that we would see a slaughter. Finally, a side effect of the effectiveness of the first serve is to allow the Australian a plan B against Nole returns on his second serve. If Kyrgios manages to have a high combined ratio of the first serves in and won, the Australian could be tempted to go for it also on second serves. Just make a simple calculation: if the percentage of success on the second serve is lower than 68% * 79% then it is better to try hard and cross your fingers. In our case the threshold would be around 53%, curiously exactly the same number Nick held over the course of the tournament in terms of second serves won. And honestly, if Kyrgios succeeds without going all-in on the second serve, managing to win more than half of the points it would seem like a miracle (also given the statistics of the Serbian).

In the end just a small recap of the past Wimbledon finals, it’s a long time since such a low ranked player reaches the final

nameseasonmean agewinner ageWINNERrankLOOSER_ALIASloser_rankscoreMEAN_of_FINALIST_RANK
Wimbledon202129.734.11N. DJOKOVIC1M. BERRETTINI96-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 6-35
Wimbledon201935.0032.11N. DJOKOVIC1R. FEDERER37-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12(3) RE2
Wimbledon201831.6231.11N. DJOKOVIC21K. ANDERSON86-2 6-2 7-6(3)14.5
Wimbledon201732.3335.90R. FEDERER5M. CILIC66-3 6-1 6-45.5
Wimbledon201627.3129.12A. MURRAY2M. RAONIC76-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2)4.5
Wimbledon201531.0028.10N. DJOKOVIC1R. FEDERER27-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-31.5
Wimbledon201429.9827.09N. DJOKOVIC2R. FEDERER46-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-43
Wimbledon201326.1026.11A. MURRAY2N. DJOKOVIC16-4 7-5 6-41.5
Wimbledon201228.0030.88R. FEDERER3A. MURRAY44-6 7-5 6-3 6-43.5
Wimbledon201124.5624.08N. DJOKOVIC2R. NADAL16-4 6-1 1-6 6-31.5
Wimbledon201024.4024.05R. NADAL1T. BERDYCH136-3 7-5 6-47
Wimbledon200927.3427.87R. FEDERER2A. RODDICK65-7 7-6(6) 7-6(5) 3-6 16-144
Wimbledon200824.4722.06R. NADAL2R. FEDERER16-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-71.5
Wimbledon200723.4725.88R. FEDERER1R. NADAL27-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-21.5
Wimbledon200622.4724.88R. FEDERER1R. NADAL26-0 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 6-31.5
Wimbledon200523.3423.87R. FEDERER1A. RODDICK46-2 7-6(2) 6-42.5
Wimbledon200422.3422.87R. FEDERER1A. RODDICK24-6 7-5 7-6(3) 6-41.5
Wimbledon200324.2521.87R. FEDERER5M. PHILIPPOUSSIS487-6(5) 6-2 7-6(3)26.5
Wimbledon200220.9021.33L. HEWITT1D. NALBANDIAN326-1 6-3 6-216.5
Wimbledon200129.1429.78G. IVANISEVIC125P. RAFTER106-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-767.5
Wimbledon200028.1828.87P. SAMPRAS3P. RAFTER216-7(10) 7-6(5) 6-4 6-212
Wimbledon199928.5027.86P. SAMPRAS1A. AGASSI46-3 6-4 7-52.5
Wimbledon199826.8226.86P. SAMPRAS1G. IVANISEVIC256-7(2) 7-6(9) 6-4 3-6 6-213
Wimbledon199726.9425.86P. SAMPRAS1C. PIOLINE446-4 6-2 6-422.5
Wimbledon199625.7824.55R. KRAJICEK13M. WASHINGTON206-3 6-4 6-316.5
Wimbledon199525.7323.87P. SAMPRAS2B. BECKER46-7(5) 6-2 6-4 6-23
Wimbledon199422.8122.86P. SAMPRAS1G. IVANISEVIC57-6(2) 7-6(5) 6-03
Wimbledon199322.3521.86P. SAMPRAS1J. COURIER27-6(3) 7-6(6) 3-6 6-31.5
Wimbledon199221.4622.15A. AGASSI14G. IVANISEVIC86-7(8) 6-4 6-4 1-6 6-411
Wimbledon199123.1322.68M. STICH7B. BECKER26-4 7-6(4) 6-44.5


Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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‘They Have Too Much Power’ – Stan Wawrinka Blasts Selfish Grand Slams



Stan Wawrinka has accused the four Grand Slam tournaments of looking after their interests and failing to hand players their fair share of the money they make from those events. 


Wawrinka, who has won three major titles during his career, acknowledges that the prize money has increased in recent years but argues the percentage of profits they redistribute is not high enough. According to Forbes, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) reported a revenue of $472M in 2022 in their financial statements. The total amount of player compensation available at this year’s US Open was in the region of $65m, which was a new record. 

“They do not redistribute enough to tennis compared to the income they generate,” Tennis Majors quoted Wawrinka as saying during an interview with L’Equipe. “And they have way too much power because they make [so much] money. 
“[The Slams are] where the history of tennis is written… These are the richest Federations which do not redistribute much. Even between them, there is no communication… The income from Grand Slams today is very important and the percentage returned to players is ridiculous. It has hardly increased at all.”

The Grand Slams argue that they have made efforts to increase prize money for players every year. Particularly for those who lose in the early round of their tournaments. For example, those who lost in the first round at the US Open earlier in the season won $81,500. At Wimbledon, first round prize money was £55,000 (roughly $68,900). 

These increases have failed to stop the criticism from Wawrinka who believes that the major events are only focused on what is best for them and not the players. 

“You are talking about the prize money, not the percentage paid. As revenues have increased significantly at the same time,” he said. “Grand Slam tournaments only concern their interest, for their country and their Federation. Today, we are stuck until the day the players say stop.”

The 38-year-old Swiss is a Grand Slam veteran and has played 221 matches at that level, winning 156 of those. So far in his career, he has earned a total of $18,777,025 in prize money just from those events.

Wawrinka also believes that players are not being consulted enough when it comes to making decisions on the Tour. However, he doesn’t see any need for a union to be formed, such as the PTPA which he believes has made little progress so far in addressing key issues. One example he uses is the move by organizers of the Australian Open to extend their event by an extra day from next year. 

“Tennis Australia showed up to say: “We’re starting on the first Sunday”, like that, thank you goodbye,” he said. “Did anyone ask us what we thought about it? No. It’s like that. From the outside, you tell yourself that this is not normal! That means we don’t work together.”

As for the other governing bodies of the sport, in Wawrinka’s view issues are arising due to their current structure with there being too many conflicts of interest. Saying those in charge are taking a more reactive than proactive approach to problems such as injuries being caused by the types of balls being used.

“The real problem with tennis is that most things are done in reaction,” he commented on the matter. “Nobody anticipates anything. We must include the players in the discussions to also explain to them the reasons for such and such discussions.
“When it comes to balls, the tournaments don’t want to agree because they all have a different sponsor, and at the same time we still have to fight to have enough to train with. We [go in circles. I’ve been on the circuit for twenty years and we talk about the same problems over and over again. The problem with tennis is that there are too many governances, too many different entities (ITF, Grand Slam tournaments, ATP, WTA) which only look out for their own interests. Today, the real problem in tennis is the Grand Slams.” 

Wawrinka is currently ranked 50th in the world. This season he has won 27 out of 50 Tour-level matches played. 

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Rafael Nadal To Play Australian Open, Says Tournament Chief




Rafael Nadal will head to Australia at the start of next year to play in the first Grand Slam of the season, according to the Australian Open tournament director. 


Craig Tiley has told Nine Network’s ‘The Today Show’ that the former world No.1 will be playing at Melbourne Park. Although there is yet to be any official comment from either Nadal or a member of his team about the matter. 

Nadal hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that he may retire next year. 

Whilst question marks remain over Nadal’s career, Tiley says he is confident the Spaniard will be playing at the Australian Open in what will be his 19th main draw appearance at the event. He has won the title twice before and was runner-up on four other occasions. 

“We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back,” Tiley said.
“He’s been off for most of the year and in talking to him over the last few days he confirmed he will be back, which we’re really excited about, the champion of 2022. That’s awesome.”

Another player tipped to return to action is Nick Kyrgios who has also been hindered by injury in recent months. Kyrgios has played just one match in 2023 due to problems related to his knee and wrist. The setbacks came a year after he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon where he was beaten by Novak Djokovic. 

“The one great thing about Nick is that he’s very transparent and very open about how he’s feeling and what he thinks,” The Age newspaper quoted Tiley as saying.
“I personally believe in the communication that he’s very motivated to come back and play in January.
“He loves playing here … he knows everyone wants him to play. It’s just a matter of his health. He’s had a significant injury.
“He’s … in the process of still getting over that … [but] I fully expect him to be here and ready to play.”

Both Nadal and Kyrgios are currently ranked outside the top 200 due to their absences. 

The 2024 Australian Open will begin on January 14th. Next year the event will be held over 15 days for the first time in its history. 

UPDATE: Since the publication of this article a spokesperson for Nadal has responded to Tiley’s claims by stating that no return date has been set.

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