Novak Djokovic’s participation in US Open 2022 continues to hang in balance over his vaccination status and America’s present Covid restrictions. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, was slated to make his ATP return in Montreal from an abdominal strain, but the continued recovery means that he will make a comeback next week in Cincinnati Masters. In their absence, Daniil Medvedev was tipped to dominate men’s singles in the build-up to US Open 2022, but following the world no.1 followed his Los Cabos title win with a round of 16 exit in Montreal. However, ATP has witnessed an unlikely dominant force in Nicky Kyrgios, who is presently on a nine-match winning streak, and tennis great Andy Roddick has made a massive US Open claim on the Aussie amid Djokovic drama and Nadal’s fitness issue.
Kyrgios has been in the form of his life. After reaching the final in Wimbledon in July, where he lost to Djokovic, the Aussie raced away to a title win in Washington before beating Medvedev in Montreal en route to the quarters. With world no.4 Casper Ruud as his only obstacle, Kyrgios is the favourite to lift the title in Montreal and is already the favourite for the US Open.
And Roddick did not hesitate in admitting the same as he backed the Aussie to claim his maiden Grand Slam title at the Flushing Meadows next month.
“He’s up there,” Roddick said on the Rich Eisen Show. “Obviously we’re dealing with the Novak drama and he won’t be there. No one has ever questioned Kyrgios’ physical ability. In my opinion, he’s the only person on earth whose physical talents can rival the ‘Big Three’.
“But physical talents hasn’t always equaled physical fitness. It certainly hasn’t equaled mental readiness throughout the course of his career. Navigating through Wimbledon, getting through best-of-five-set matches, playing in these pressure moments – those are all good things for Kyrgios
“It would have gone one of two ways off the heels of Wimbledon. Traditionally, when he’s done well, he’s kind of been satisfied and maybe coasted through the next couple of months. It’s a big, big deal to me that he goes into Washington, which is a pretty big event in the lead-up to the U.S. Open.
“Brutal condition;.to go through singles and doubles and not to tap out mentally or physically is a big, big sign. Getting through a tough tournament like that in D.C with those conditions is a big sign for Nick Kyrgios and I think it puts him into the top two, maybe three, favourites for the US Open.”
Nadal is slated to return to ATP in the Cincinnati Masters which begins from August 16 onwards while Djokovic continues to hope for a clearance from US government on his participation in the final major of the calendar year.