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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 16, 2022

Nick Kyrgios may seem out of control on the tennis court often, but that doesn’t mean the Aussie doesn’t have a deep understanding of the game, himself and the tactics that he must employ to be successful.

Tennis Express

In 2022, he has proven many a doubter wrong about his decision to play on the tour without a coach, reaching his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, winning the title at the Citi Open without dropping serve, and generally playing the best tennis of his career after developing a reputation as an undiscisiplined underachiever in year’s past.

Many have been wrong about Kyrgios in many ways. In particular, his ability as a tactician and a strategist has been underestimated.

Kyrgios continued to prove his worth on the tour on Tuesday in Cincinnati, as he worked his way past tricky Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 7-5, 6-4. After the victory, his 31st of 2022 against just eight losses, Kyrgios gave himself high marks not just as a player, but as his own coach.

“I feel like I do my research on all the players, and I feel as if I have got a very good tennis brain,” he said. “Watching tennis as a kid and all the tennis I have played and just how much I watch it, I kind of know everyone's strengths and weaknesses.”

Kyrgios says he has to avoid the temptation to play it safe on a tennis court. Why? It simply doesn’t work for him, despite what many a previous coach may have told him.

Kyrgios has been around long enough to know that, for him, high percentage tennis is low percentage (and vice-versa).

“I just feel like I know my game style well and what works,” he said. “I feel obviously against someone like Fokina or Medvedev, de Minaur, these type of players, if I engage in too many rallies, it's not high-percentage. I feel like tennis players get toward high percentages like playing crosscourt, for instance. But for me, that's not high-percentage. That's not how I'm going to win matches, by playing easy balls crosscourt.

Kyrgios says he is immensely proud of achieving so much on tour in 2022 without employing a coach.

“I feel like me not having a coach has worked,” he said. “I think the last six months, I don't think many people have achieved that without a coach before, and I feel like that's just something that comes with confidence and knowing your game.”

Looking forward to the next challenger - a first-time meeting with Taylor Fritz

Kyrgios is nearing the finish line of a difficult run. He is planning to end head back to Australia for some much needed family time after the US Open, and while he is in the U.S. remains motivated to continue his winning ways. He has won 16 of his last 18 matches and rides into Cincinnati with a ranking of 28.

Next up? A first-time meeting with longtime friend Taylor Fritz.

“It's an extremely tough matchup for me,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously not going to get much rhythm. You know, he's extremely confident. He's one of the players I think that never doubts himself. He backs himself. He believes that he's one of the best players in the world. That's what makes him so dangerous. He's had wins over Nadal.

He's the type of player that never lacks confidence, and players like that are capable of winning tournaments. As you know, Indian Wells just happens for him. You can't teach that. That's one thing that you can't teach tennis players is to have that ultimate confidence under pressure and belief in yourself. He's one of those players.

“So I'm excited. It's the first time we have played each other, and that's a match where I know if I lose I have lost to a great player, as well. I'm excited to see what he's got.”


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