In a few hours’ time, the bragging rights for Australian men’s tennis will be decided when Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios square off in the Kooyong Classic.
The Kooyong Classic is considered an exhibition tournament, played on outdoor hard courts on a Plexicushion surface.
Both Tomic and Kyrgios are using the event as part of their preparations for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open.
Ladbrokes has Kyrgios as the $1.67 favourite to Tomic’s $2.10 quote.
The two have never met head-to-head, at least not at the ATP level. The two are remarkably similar in many statistical categories. Tomic is the elder by about two-and-a-half years. There is very little difference from the height and weight perspective. Both players are right-handers and use two-handed backhands.
Kyrgios has the better winning percentage having won 132 matches against 76 losses. Tomic’s record stands at 178 wins versus 165 losses.
Each of the men hold four career titles and Kyrgios has earned about $900,000 more in prizemoney, so tennis fans who enjoy seeing two equally matched competitors slugging it out should be in for a treat.
That is, assuming neither of the two permit the bad attitudes that have soured their careers at times get the better of them.
Tomic goes into the match with a current world ranking of 85, while Kyrgios is at 51.
Surely, the two have met at some point in the past, in junior days perhaps, but regardless, neither is waiting for the match to begin before starting UFC-style sledging.
Tomic told reporters, “Am I doing that [getting proper match practice] against Nick, who only just serves? It’s tough to do. Hopefully he takes it seriously.”
Kyrgios a day earlier took a more nuanced approach, commenting, “I’m looking forward to seeing him and catching up with him and playing against him.”
He was in a mood to be generous following a Fast 4 win over Rafael Nadal on Monday night.
Based on the pre-match comments, Tomic had the upper hand, but off the court, the two are good friends.