Nick Kyrgios cops massive blow ahead of clash with Daniil Medvedev

·3-min read
Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev, pictured here in action at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev will do battle at the Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios' clash with Daniil Medevedev at the Australian Open on Thursday night will take place on Rod Laver Arena in what looms as a major blow for the Aussie challenger.

Kyrgios faces a gargantuan task to take down the World No.2 Medvedev, and that task was only made harder with the match scheduled for Rod Laver Arena.

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Kyrgios had been hoping the match would take place on John Cain Arena - affectionately known as the 'People's Court' for its rowdy atmosphere.

The Australian star had the crowd in a frenzy on Tuesday night in his win over Liam Broady, feeding off the atmosphere and surging into the second round.

Fans can access John Cain Arena with a general admission ground pass, however Rod Laver Arena is specially ticketed and much more expensive.

That usually means the crowd on Rod Laver is a bit more 'refined' than that on John Cain, meaning Kyrgios might need to work a bit harder to get himself going.

Kyrgios boasts a 10-3 win-loss record on the raucous stage of John Cain Arena, which he calls a "zoo" and has made his own in recent years.

"I'm going to call it Kyrgios Court," he said after sipping a spectator's beer and driving British qualifier Liam Broady mad in a straight-sets first-round win on Tuesday night.

Describing the experience as "absolutely awful", Broady admitted he struggled to cope as Kyrgios whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

"It's the first time I've ever walked onto a tennis court and been booed, which for me was a crazy experience," Broady said.

"You get sledged from the sides like you can't believe, (which) they don't pick up on TV.

"So it was a very, very difficult atmosphere to try and handle, and he (Kyrgios) is incredible at getting them behind him and he plays better for it."

Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev, pictured here in Washington in 2019.
Nick Kyrgios has beaten Daniil Medvedev in their previous two encounters. (Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios' poor record on Rod Lavera Arena

In stark contrast, Kyrgios is just 1-4 on Rod Laver.

Those four defeats came against heavyweights Andy Murray in the 2015 quarter-finals, Tomas Berdych in round three in 2016, Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16 in 2018 and Rafael Nadal in the fourth round in 2020.

"To play it on John Cain would be fun but obviously, either way, it's going to be a hell of an experience for me," Kyrgios said.

"He's probably the best player in the world at the moment. He does everything extremely well. He's a hard worker, ticks all the boxes."

But Kyrgios still fancies himself a chance having beaten Medvedev in both of their previous encounters in 2019.

"No doubt that he's probably double the player he was before when I played him," Kyrgios said.

"In the past, I have had success against him. I know the kind of game style and the way I need to play.

"I feel like those matches still excite me, to go out there and play the best in the world.

"I'm pretty excited, I'm excited for that moment. That's why I play the game."

with AAP

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