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Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, rolls onto the court during a match in the Citi Open tennis tournament against Norbert Gombos, of Slovakia, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, rolls onto the court during a match in the Citi Open tennis tournament against Norbert Gombos, of Slovakia, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)|Associated Press
Tennis

Citi Open Saturday men's semis: Abrams picks Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Nick Kyrgios, Daniil Medvedev vs. Peter Gojowczyk

Matches start at 7 pm EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Citi Open

Washington, D.C.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Men’s Semifinals

Daniil Medvedev over Peter Gojowczyk

How about Gojo? The 6’2” German continued to shock the world with his run through the very difficult draw here in the nation’s capital. His latest conquest, Britain’s Kyle Edmund, was impressive, but how do you top his earlier wins over Andrey Rublev, Alex de Minaur, and Milos Raonic? You beat Russian Daniil Medvedev and take your momentum into the finals, that’s how. Unfortunately for Gojo, that’s not going to happen. Medvedev is playing inspired tennis, and has looked like a master of the game this week. His quarterfinal win over former U.S. Open Marin Cilic was a clinic in how to play hard court tennis in this age of power baseliners. He served well, he hit his groundies well, but maybe more importantly, he moved with the speed of a track star. This guy is only 23-years-old, and right now he’s coming into his own. He’s ranked #10, and based on who is above him, if he remains consistent (that is the key) he can move up to #7 or so. He wins on all surfaces, he does everything well, and he’s 6’6”, which means a lot these days. I think Medvedev will make Gojo pay for his great week, but the German did get a wild card into the Canadian Open next week, so we can follow him there.

Nick Kyrgios over Stefanos Tsitsipas

Nick Kyrgios, the Tour’s resident jokester and nut job, wants to play and win this week. He’s served beautifully the whole week, he’s sprinted and raced after both wide shots and drop shots, and he’s played with spirit and strategy. When he’s playing like he has this week, he can beat anyone in the world, and his game is one of the greatest out there. He’s always fun and entertaining to watch, because you never know what you’re going to get, but this week, he has shown that not only is he an entertainer, but that he embodies excellence and resolve, when he wants to. In his most recent win, against Norbert Gombos, Kyrgios had 19 aces, and won 85% of the points when he got his first serve in. Furthermore, he won 73% of the points on his second serve, and hit 27 winners against only 10 unforced errors. These stats are so biased as to be almost unworldly, and that’s how the man from Down Under has been playing this week. So, as Kyrgios flies out of the Cuckoo’s Nest, if only for this week, we are going to be treated to a match that could be one of the matches of the year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been playing with the will of a gladiator. He serves like a demon, he moves like The Flash, volleys with the exactness of Tony Roche, and hits devastating overheads. Watching the Greek God play is not only exciting, but also very instructive. He does everything very well, and does it with theatric flair. I think what’s going to be the difference between these two showmen will be Kyrgios’ serve, which has been almost unplayable, and the Aussie’s movement, which has been a thing to behold. When Nick wants to move, his speed is almost unthinkable. Like most other players, he finds it not particularly difficult going from sideline to sideline, but Kyrgios also has shown his speed going forward and back, as he’s tracked down drop shots and covered lobs with seeming ease, and when he doesn’t resort to a “tweener”—that playful shot between his legs that rarely wins him a point, he’s always in the point. So, as I always must say when discussing Kyrgios, if he wants to win this match, he will. It might just be a masterpiece, so grab a seat and watch with amazement as these two men go at it. You won’t be sorry.

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