Is the 2022 US Open Nick Kyrgios’ Best Chance of Winning a Grand Slam?
Eight years ago, Nick Kyrgios stunned World No.1 Rafael Nadal, knocking him out of Wimbledon in the fourth round.
At the time, Kyrgios was only nineteen years old. He went on to make the Wimbledon quarterfinals, ranked 144th in the world.
The tennis world exploded, heralding the next best thing in tennis.
Many expected the teen to become a multi-Grand Slam champion, but instead, Nick Kyrgios took a different path.
Now, Kyrgios is known as the unequivocal bad boy of tennis. With over $550,000 in fines and multiple suspensions, the Australian holds the title of tennis’s most fined player.
One title that he has never held, however, is that of a Grand Slam.
But with a deep run to the Wimbledon final in June, followed up by a sweep of the singles/doubles titles in Washington last week, could 2022 be the year that Nick Kyrgios finally lives up to all that potential?
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Is the Kyrgios Household Finally in Order?
Incredible talent and breathtaking shot making, eclipsed only by mercurial meltdowns, a foul mouth and mindless self-destruction.
Nick Kyrgios is the player that people love to hate.
For the past decade that has been Kyrgios’ professional career, his talent has been abundantly obvious. He’s one of only a handful of players to have beaten all of the Big Three, and actually holds a winning record against 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.
Perhaps the only thing more obvious than Kyrgios’ talent, are his struggles with mental health. The battle within manifests itself in on-court meltdowns, as well as more sinister behavior such as throwing matches, and spitting at umpires. However, perhaps the biggest impact of Kyrgios’ inner turmoil is a lack of work ethic and consistency behind the scenes throughout his career.
Kyrgios himself has come out and said that at times, he would drink himself to sleep or play video games until the wee hours of the morning before important matches. He’s also been known to declare that he doesn’t enjoy the game, and barely practices.
This year, however, something seems to have shifted.
Whether it’s a steady relationship, a bit of maturity, or simply the arrival of a fully formed frontal lobe, Nick Kyrgios appears to have got his house in order after all these years.
Kyrgios Puts Together Most Consistent Season of Career
This year has certainly been Kyrgios’ most consistent.
Having won the 2022 Australian Open doubles with compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis, Kyrgios then went on to make the quarterfinals and Round of 16 at back-to-back Masters 1000 events in the US.
Following this, he strung together three consecutive semi-final appearances at Houston, Stuttgart and Halle, before making his deepest ever run in a Grand Slam, losing to Novak Djokovic in the final of Wimbledon.
Proving that his Grand Slam form wasn’t a fluke, Kyrgios turned up and won both the singles and doubles events in Washington last week, his first appearance since Wimbledon.
Building Towards the US Open 2022
With the US Open kicking off in three weeks’ time, is Nick Kyrgios a good bet to win the title?
Between now and then, two Masters 1000 events take place in Montreal and Cincinnati. If Kyrgios can make decent runs in both of these, or even a deep run in one, he’ll head into the US Open seeded for the first time in years.
He also has the opportunity to continue building momentum and confidence. Current World No.1 Daniil Medvedev looms as a second round opponent this week in Montreal, a clash that Kyrgios will surely be targeting to prove to himself that he has what it takes to win the US Open later this month.
Bookmakers are offering modest odds for Kyrgios to win the final Grand Slam of the year, with bet365 having the Australian at +1600—8th favorite overall. Given his current ranking of No.37 in the world, it’s a fair reflection of Kyrgios’ progress this year.
However, these odds may well shift when +150 favorite Novak Djokovic is inevitably removed from the player list in a few weeks’ time. The 21-time Grand Slam champion is currently listed as playing in the US Open, yet is unable to travel to America given his vaccination status.
With the only player who was able to defeat Kyrgios at Wimbledon removed from the draw, could 2022 be the year that tennis’s bad boy finally wins a Grand Slam?