Nick Kyrgios has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2022 US Open and will face Karen Khachanov this evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Must be an amazing atmosphere! Here is Kyrgios’ tournament so far.
- rd 1 room Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4)
- round 2 def. Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
- Rd 3 rooms JJ Wolf 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
- Rd 4 rooms Daniil Medvedev 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Below are the 10 match pointers that led the Australian to the quarter-finals. They are definitely something to watch out for this evening!
1: RALLY LENGTH = SHORT
The average length of a rally in Kyrgios’s first four games at the US Open is a quick 3.4 shots. It’s very fast! He doesn’t want to get into long, drawn-out raids with opponents. The Australian deliberately brings the battle to the fore!
Nearly three of the four points (73%) that Kyrgios made in their first four games were 0-4. This means that he takes a maximum of two shots on the field and the same for the opponent. The first four shots of the rally are:
- Give +1
- Return +1
This is where Kyrgios focuses his energy. Attack first. Ask questions later.
Kyrgios uses the vast majority of their points in the 0-4 trade and also creates their biggest advantage. When a point lasts for a maximum of four shots on the court, its advantage is +59 points (343 won / 284 conceded). When a rally lasts five shots or more, his advantage is only +6 points (120 won / 114 lost)
Kyrgios wreaks havoc in the first four shots and basically plays even in the longer rallies.
2: NET POINTS WINNING = 65%
Kyrgios netted 106 times in 14 sets, which equates to 7.6 goals per set. He scored 65% (69/106) of these points. These are all very healthy net numbers and help point to a basic winning strategy.
In comparison, Daniil Medvedev found the net only 74 times in 13 sets in the first four rounds, which is 5.7 goals per set.
Kyrgios wants to be at the net. His win percentage is excellent, and the overall pressure he puts on opponents to land lots of passes works in Kyrgios’ favour.
3: WINN SERVER AND VOLLEY = 60%
Kyrgios served and volleyed 25 times, winning 15. The most was against Medvedev in the fourth round when he won 10 of 17 (59%). He uses the serve and volley as a clever secondary tactic to keep opponents from simply hitting his big serve back onto the court to start a point. Rushing straight forward also keeps the point short and puts pressure at the front of the court.
4: BASE POINTS WIN = 49%
In general, when you see a match stat below 50%, it’s bad. It’s a lost strategy. But for Kyrgios, 49% base points is a really good number! When Roger Federer won the 2017 Australian Open, he only managed 48% of his base points. When Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open, he scored only 50% of his base points.
Kyrgios does well when he has to stand at the back of the court to fight opponents.
5: GROUND IMPACT PERFORMANCE
- Forehand winners = 52
- Forehand errors = 117
- +/- = -65
- Backhand winners = 24
- Backhand errors = 117
- +/- = -93
These are solid ground hitting numbers overall and really good indicators of his forehand. He has more than twice as many forehand winners as backhand winners (as you might expect), but he also has exactly the same number of errors. The forehand does not go crazy and crushes it at times, as it did with Medvedev, to seal the victory in the fourth set.
6: APPLICATION AND RETURN OF PERFORMANCE
The point starts four ways and Kyrgios does a really good job of almost winning three of them.
- First serve points earned = 77%
- Second serve points earned = 58%
- Second serve return points earned = 49%
- First serve return points earned = 30%
The key metric for Kyrgios is second serve points. If you can break the 50% barrier and score more points with your opponent’s second serve, it will go a long way to winning the title.
7: SERVES WIN/LOSE
- Service games won = 63
- Lost service matches = 6
- Hold % = 91%
This is the heartbeat of Kyrgios’ game. It has such a powerful service that it is practically impossible to read it. The roll is exactly the same for wides and Ts, meaning opponents can’t anticipate it. Kyrgios played three tie-breaks at the US Open this year and won all three. You can’t expect to have such a good time in a match and get lucky against him. I have to break it to beat it.
8: aces/double DEFECTS
- 85 aces (5 on second serve)
- 21 double faults
That’s a bit more double faults than I would expect from Kyrgios after four games. The most was seven against Medvedev in the fourth round. But the number isn’t high enough to become a factor, especially when he has 85 aces to help cover up 21 double faults.
9: NON-RETURN SERVES = 47%
This is a very impressive indicator. Nearly half (47%) of Kyrgios’ serves do not return. They are either an ace or a return bug. Opponents can’t read the website and can’t guess which way it’s going. In comparison, Medvedev had only 36% of unreturned serves. That’s far behind Kyrgios’s 47%.
10: BREAK POINTS
- Breakpoints saved while serving = 78% (21/27)
- Breakpoints swapped on return = 52% (16/31)
Kyrgios generated more break points (31) when his opponent served than against him (27). That’s always a good sign! And the fact that he converts just over half (52%) is another key metric on his way to the quarter-finals.
Kyrgios is playing brilliant tennis at the moment. He essentially snatched a racket from the hands of world No. 1 Medvedev in the final two sets of his fourth round match.
It serves so powerfully in important moments. He steps far into the baseline to come back and puts so much pressure to finish points at the front of the court. If he maintains his current form, it will be extremely difficult to stop him from winning the US Open trophy with both hands.