Atlanta R2 preview and prediction: Kyrgios vs. Norrie

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It will be tale of two players with much different fortunes in 2021 when Nick Kyrgios and Cameron Norrie collide in round two of the Truist Atlanta Open on Wednesday.

Opting to stay at home in Australia instead of traveling on tour during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kyrgios had played only three tournaments this year–and also just three since February of 2020–prior to arriving in Atlanta. As such, he finds himself down at No. 58 in the rankings.

When he actually plays, however, Kyrgios has been decent. The 26-year-old advanced two rounds in each of his first three appearances this season–including at Wimbledon before being forced to retire against Felix Auger-Aliassime. Healthy a few weeks later and playing at one of his favorite tournaments, Kyrgios defeated recent Newport champion Kevin Anderson 7-6(4), 6-3 on Tuesday night.

“Kevin is no easy opponent; he’s a finalist at Grand Slams and he knows how to win matches,” Kyrgios said. “His serve is one of the best in the world, so I knew today was going to be incredibly tough. I haven’t played too many matches, but I was serving well and I just love playing here in Atlanta.”  

Norrie has been loving pretty much every stop on tour. The 25-year-old Brit has compiled an incredible 35-14 match record in 2021 with his first title last week in Los Cabos, runner-up performances in Estoril, Lyon, and at Queen’s Club, and third-round results at each of the three Grand Slams.

Count Kyrgios, himself, among the fans of his opponent’s current work. He posted the following after Norrie triumphed in Los Cabos.

Well done @cam_norrie ….. what did I tell you at Wimby….. ???? keep going g

— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) July 25, 2021

Norrie beat Kyrgios via retirement at this same Atlanta tournament in 2018, but the tide turned at the 2020 ATP Cup when the Aussie cruised 6-2, 6-2. With Kyrgios more rested and looking motivated this week, this is going to be a tough proposition for the No. 3 seed.

Expect a high-quality contest, with favorable conditions for Kyrgios’ big-hitting game proving to be the difference.

Pick: Kyrgios in 3

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WWW: Norrie vs. Kyrgios?

Norrie in 2 Norrie in 3 Kyrgios in 2 Kyrgios in 3

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