I couldn’t have imagined myself writing this post on Nick about four months ago but he has had one of the most amazing mental transformations in just 4 months. Whatever he did, he should recommend to Benard Tomic as it may work for him too.
I also believe that, barring mishaps and injuries, this Davis Cup participation will help him take a big step further towards that prized number one slot. He is currently ranked 16th in that race and has a win-loss ratio of 14-4 in 2017.
Nick has already had a close encounter with Roger who has been the undisputed best player so far this year. He even sports the distinction of beating the BIG three at least once in his relatively short professional career so far. Moreover, beating Djokovic even nowadays is no small feat and Nick has beaten him twice within the last 45 days. Beating Novak the first time can be a fluke but if it happens the second time then it can happen again, and I certainly foresee Nick beating Novak again sometime soon. Except for his loss to Seppi at the Australian Open 2017 which was somewhat of a meltdown, his other two losses in 2017 have come in closely contested matches against experienced war horses such as Tsonga, and Sam Querrey, which goes to indicate that Nick, unlike in 2016 and earlier, is finally learning to honor his talent with effort.
Nick may not be as natural a shot maker as Roger but his athleticism, explosiveness and power make him appear so.
He is also a big match player and the bigger the match the better he performs, which certainly doesn’t bode well for the ilk of Roger, Rafa, Novak and Andy.
Nick’s serve is exceptional and definitely a powerful weapon which makes practically anything possible for him against just about anyone because the pressure is always on the opponent to hold serve. Nick is no one trick pony either as his forehand is powerful enough to win points and that backhands seems to be getting stronger too. His explosive movement on the court simply doesn’t allow me to classify him as one of the classic serve-bots like Karlovich. He truly is an all round player with an exceptional serve.
What also intrigues me about Nick is his creativity which still needs to be driven by purpose to shape outcomes on a regular basis. It however is glaringly obvious for all to see and gives him that extra little edge over the others. The day that aspect of his game transcends from showmanship into an integral part of purpose driven point construction I believe the tour then would seriously need to avoid “the Nick.”
So where does Nick rank in various categories of the 138 MPH Tennis Scale which can portend not only greatness but also the prospects of achieving the number one ranking?It seems Nick’s journey towards the number one slot has already begun and what remains to be seen is if he has the mental strength, and intensity and continuity of purpose to reach that highest pinnacle in sport. My guess is that he will get their soon enough.