Craig O’Shannessy, a top tennis analyst who formerly worked with Novak Djokovic says the Serbian 'absolutely fears' Nick Kyrgios.
Djokovic has never actually beaten Kyrgios in his career. In fact, he has not even won a set against him with the Australian winning both of their previous contests in straight sets.
Both of those matches came in 2017 when O'Shannessy was part of Djokovic's team, and he recalls how much he struggled to deal with Kyrgios' serve.
“Novak fears that service game,” O’Shannessy said in an interview with the The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He absolutely does and that’s self-evident with Novak nominating Nick as the best serve he’s played against.
“I was on Novak’s team for both of the matches and afterwards Novak asked me to put Nick’s serve under the microscope to see if there’s any discerning factor,” O’Shannessy said.
“Whether it’s his feet, the ball toss – anything different or any tell with where he is serving.
“The wide serve and the T serve happen off the exact same toss. And because Nick’s motion is so quick, it’s unreadable.
“I ran overlay of Nick serving out wide and down the middle, and there’s no difference. Novak was adamant there has to be something that you can read from Nick’s serve, but we found literally nothing.
Craig O’Shannessy, though, says it may actually be Nick Kyrgios' second serve that could be the real problem for Novak Djokovic, because he puts such variety behind it.
“Nick varies his speed drastically on those second serves too,” he says. “That day [In Indian Wells], one serve went down ultra-slowly at 133 km/hr. The very next second serve he hit, it was an ace at 202 km/hr.
“For most people that’s a first serve and he’s only added more variety to his game since then.
“Novak was left trying to guess on Nick’s serve. And that’s one of the worst things you can do, guessing leaves you losing the instincts of your step and timing.
“That second serve is arguably a bigger weapon because Nick’s confidence and willingness to switch things up, no one else does that when really they should be trying it. He’s got the game to really worry Djokovic and really go all the way.”
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