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Ricky’s pick for the US Open fourth-round showdown between Medvedev and Kyrgios

By Ricky Dimon

Daniil Medvedev vs. Nick Kyrgios is quite simply worthy of a final. No argument can be made to the contrary.

However, because Kyrgios is ranked lower than he should be after not getting any ranking points at Wimbledon (where he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic), the Aussie fell victim to a rough draw as the No. 25 player in the world and No. 23 seed.

Of course, it’s arguably an even rougher draw for Medvedev. After all, the Russian trails the head-to-head series 3-1 after recently losing to Kyrgios 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2 at the Montreal Masters. That result is part of an incredible run that the Aussie is still on heading into week two of the season’s final Grand Slam. After reaching the Wimbledon final, Kyrgios won the Washington, D.C. title and used his victory over Medvedev to advance to the Montreal quarters. He also captured doubles titles in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

Medvedev may not be in peak form at the moment, but he certainly can’t be counted out at the U.S. Open. The world No. 1 is the defending champion and he also has a runner-up performance (2019, lost to Rafael Nadal in five sets). He has looked every bit like the top seed through two rounds, easing past Stefan Kozlov, Arthur Rinderknech, and Yibing Wu.

Kyrgios had no trouble with Thanasi Kokkinakis and J.J. Wolf, but in between he struggled through a four-setter against Benjamin Bonzi.

Now the stage is set.

“You kind of want to be in [these] moments,” Kyrgios assured. “Like, I don’t want to be playing futures or challengers on backcourts with no crowd. That’s not why I play this sport. That’s not why I pick up a racket. I want to be playing on the biggest stadiums in the world in front of millions of people broadcasted globally. That’s where I want to be. That is why I work hard. It makes it even sweeter.

“There’s no shame in losing to a player like [Medvedev]. But I definitely feel like the way I’m playing, the game-plan and the success I had against him obviously in Montreal, I definitely feel like I have a fighting chance. Not many players can say that right now, going in to play Medvedev at the U.S. Open. Like, they’re going to go out there, but I don’t think they’re down the other end of the court knowing they’re going to win. I feel like I’m definitely one of the players that has a chance. With the way I’m playing right now, I have a chance.

“We both kind of know what to expect right now,” Medvedev commented. “He managed to get the better of me [in Montreal], for sure, especially I would say in terms of clutch moments…. I felt like it was a close match where everybody had his opportunities. In a way everybody could win.

“(I’m) definitely looking forward (to it). Hopefully (I) can play my best game.”

Medvedev almost always does at the U.S. Open. Over the course of what could be five long sets, the top seed will likely be too solid. That might not be the case on the grass courts of Wimbledon, but here…it’s Medvedev.

Pick: Medvedev in 5

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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