By Jed Jones
- Kyle Edmund v Nick Kyrgios | Kyrgios leads H2H 1-0
- Dan Evans v Alex de Minaur | De Minaur leads H2H 1-0 (ATP Challenger)
MONTREAL, CANADA – The top two British players will face their Australian counterparts in the opening round of the Rogers Cup.
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Kyle Edmund v Nick Kyrgios | Kyrgios leads H2H 1-0
The British No. 1 has been dealt a nightmare first round draw as he faces Nick Kyrgios for a place in the second round. After his quarterfinal loss in last week’s Citi Open, Kyle Edmund looks to bounce back and claim his first victory over his Australian opponent.
The 24-year-old is looking to claim his first victory at the Rogers Cup – which is very surprising given he has reached a Grand Slam semifinal on hard courts. However, Kyrgios will be an extremely tough test and he looks as motivated as ever right now. The world No. 27 secured two top 10 wins (over Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas) on his way to the Washington title last week.
Edmund is slowly getting back to his best and his victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week will certainly give him much needed confidence. The Frenchman’s style is not too dissimilar to that of Kyrgios’ as he mixes raw power with delicate touch.
Like Edmund, Kyrgios also lost in the opening round of this tournament last year. Both will be very eager to set up a second round meeting with Kyrgios’ most recent victim: Medvedev. Edmund and Kyrgios have met twice before, once on the Challenger tour and once on the main tour. Although both meetings were on grass, the Australian was victorious on both occasions. Kyrgios seems in the mood to make it a third win over the Brit.
Prediction: Kyrgios in straight sets.
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Dan Evans v Alex de Minaur | First meeting at Tour Level (De Minaur leads 1-0 at ATP Challenger)
Dan Evans also faces an in-form Australian, but one who plays a completely different style. The British No. 2 has come through two round of qualifying (without dropping a set) to reach the main draw here. Evans has played 21 matches since the start of June so there must surely be a period when his body starts to feel fatigued. Perhaps his first round exit in Washington was a blessing in disguise.
His opponent, Alex de Minaur has found his form again after a relatively disappointing chunk of the season. The Australian started the year strongly winning the title in Sydney, and just a fortnight ago he captured the Atlanta title. In between the two triumphs he was 6-10, which is poor for a player of his quality.
De Minaur also competed in Washington and suffered a second round loss so he may be feeling fresh. The 20-year-old thrives on tough battles and is a gritty competitor with a never say die attitude. He is already one of the quickest movers on the tour so Evans will have to remain cool when his winners seem to be coming back with interest.
This will be their first meeting and the contrast in styles will be interesting to watch. It has all the ingredients to be a great match and one or two points may decide the outcome.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
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