In what is certainly one of the most compelling first-round matches of the 2019 Australian Open, home-town favorite Nick Kyrgios will take on World No. 17 Milos Raonic at Melbourne Arena.
For those in the United States looking to watch, the match is scheduled to start early Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. ET. It won’t be on the regular ESPN2 TV broadcast, but you can watch the match live on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable log-in necessary) that will have coverage of every non-televised 2019 Australian Open match.
You can sign up for a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Kyrgios vs Raonic on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, everything that is streamed on ESPN+ is also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Kyrgios vs Raonic Preview
In terms of pure style of play, we’re looking at two players who mirror each other quite closely.
Last season, Raonic and Kyrgios finished third and fourth, respectively, on the ATP Tour in serve rating. Raonic piled up 18.0 aces per match (fourth on Tour) and won a whopping 83.4 percent of his first serves (second), while Kyrgios tallied 20.7 aces per match (third) and won 78.4 percent of his first serves (ninth). Both won about 90 percent of their service games, a truly elite number.
Conversely, Raonic was 75th on Tour in return rating, while Kyrgios was 88th. They each lost more than 84 percent of their return games.
Put it all together, and you can make a pretty good guess about what you’ll see in this one: Lots of aces, easy service games, very few break opportunities and probably multiple tiebreaks. For some, that’s not always an aesthetically-pleasing style of tennis, but it can still be exciting.
Ranoic will be looking to erase memories of last year’s Australian Open when he dropped a first-round match to Lukas Lacko. It was by far the earliest exit in eight trips here for the 28-year-old, who has reached an Australian Open semifinal (2016) and two quarterfinals (2015, 2017).
He’s well ahead of Kyrgios (52nd) in the world rankings, but that obviously doesn’t tell the entire story. Kyrgios has shown throughout his young career that he has the talent to compete with the best in the world when he has his head right. He also tends to bring his best game to his home country of Australia, as he has notched one quarterfinal appearance here (2015) and made it to the fourth round last year.
These two have split six career head-to-head matches, though the most recent was in 2016.
“Milos is a tough player. We’ve played each other a couple times at Grand Slams. We’ve played each other at Masters  events, Tour events. We both know each other’s games fairly well,” Kyrgios said. “It’s going to be incredibly tough. I’m very excited just to be out here in the Aussie summer in front of the home crowd, to play a tough opponent. I can see it as a good thing. I have to be locked in from the get-go.”
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