Ivan Dodig from Croatia is the No.5 seed for the Canberra ATP Challenger tennis tournament. Photo: Jamila ToderasCroatian veteran Ivan Dodig believes Canberra talent Nick Kyrgios will be “very dangerous” at the n Open, insisting he can channel his emotions to bring the best out of his game.
Dodig will put the finishing touches on his n Open preparations as the No.5 seed at the $75,000 Canberra ATP Challenger at the Canberra Tennis Centre starting on Monday.
The 31-year-old will be hoping to build on what has been a solid start to the summer having taken a set off former world No.4 Milos Raonic in the second round at the Brisbane International last week.
Dodig also showed his class in defeating Kyrgios 27-20 over the shortened format when they faced off at the International Premier Tennis League last year.
“I told him that I’ll play here, he said ‘That’s my city’,” Dodig said.
“I watched him a couple of matches at the Hopman Cup, he played amazing tennis.
“He’ll be very dangerous in Melbourne and he’ll be playing his best tennis.”
Kyrgios has made a splendid start to the summer, leading to victory at the Hopman Cup to heighten expectations he can launch a deep run into the first major of the year.
It is a world away from the immense criticism that plagued the 20-year-old after his infamous sledge to Swiss star Stan Wawrinka.
But Dodig – who is about to begin his 13th year on the professional tour – said those differences had been patched up from what he had seen at the IPTL.
“It was very nice to see him and Stan at the IPTL together and that means there was no big problems,” Dodig said.
“Sometimes comes emotion that you can’t control. These things happen to everyone.
“We all from time to time can react under the stress. Happened to me also many times, the thing is later on you realise you made a mistake and you apologise.
“It’s important we’re all together in locker rooms and know each other very well.”
Dodig is ranked 87th in the world, but has been as high as 29th.
He pushed world No.1 Novak Djokovic to four sets at the 2011 n Open and last year won the doubles at the French Open alongside Marcelo Melo.
“I played very good in the first week in Brisbane and I was happy with my performance there,” Dodig said.
“Won two matches in qualifying and one in the main draw so had four great matches there.
“I’m feeling good and hoping to bring my form here and especially in Melbourne.”
Dodig takes on n Dayne Kelly in the opening round at the Canberra Challenger on Tuesday.
In Monday’s action, No.3 seed Daniel Munoz De La Nava faces qualifier Sergey Betov, while fellow Spainard, No.4 seed Marcel Granollers, is up against ‘s Blake Mott.
Russia’s No.7 seed Evgeny Donskoy kicks off the day’s play at 10am on centre court against n qualifier Daniel Nolan.
Entry to the Canberra ATP Challenger is free.
MONDAY: Canberra ATP Challenger: Centre Court: 10am: Daniel Nolan v 7-Evgeny Donskoy (RUS). Not before 11.30am: Sergey Betov (BLR) v 3-Daniel Munoz De La Nava (ESP). Followed by: 1-Mariusz Frystenberg (POL)/Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) v Dayne Kelly/Stefano Napolitano (ITA). Not before 4pm: 4-Marcel Granollers (ESP) v Blake Mott. Court Five: 10am: Yoshihito Nishoka (JPN) v Jarryd Chaplin. Not before 11.30am: Frank Moser (GER) v Steven De Waard. Not before 2pm: Noah Rubin (USA) v Alex De Minaur. Followed by: Maverick Banes/Jarryd Chaplin v 2-Philipp Oswald (AUT)/Adil Shamasdin (CAN). Court 7: 10am: Maverick Banes v Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE). Not before 11.30am: Xin Gao (CHN) v Hiroyasu Ehara (JPN). Followed by: James Cerretani (USA)/Max Schnur (USA) v Kody Pearson/Alexei Popyrin. Followed by: Jake Delaney/Max Purcell v Enrico Becuzzi (ITA)/Paolo Lorenzi (ITA).