Kyrgios Stuns Nadal to Reach Quarterfinals at Wimbledon

by John on July 1, 2014

Nick Kyrgios R4

Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios pulled off the shocker of the Wimbledon fortnight so far, defeating top-ranked and second-seeded Rafael Nadal earlier today, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3, in a dazzling fourth-round match. The 19-year-old Kyrgios played more like a top gun than a young gun, giving Nadal all he could handle, blasting 37 aces and slugging 70 winners, while holding his nerve and poise against the relentless Spaniard. Kyrgios, ranked No. 144, became the first player outside the Top 100 to beat the No. 1 in the world since Andrei Olhovsky defeated Jim Courier in the first round of the 1996 French Open. “I think I was in a bit of a zone out there,” Kyrgios said. “It hasn’t sunk in what just played out out there. I played extraordinary tennis. I was struggling a bit on return, but I worked my way into it. I served at a really good level and I’m really happy.” Kygios was confident, but not cocky, that he could be at least be competitive against Nadal after upset wins against Richard Gasquet and Jiri Vesely in the second and thirds rounds respectively. “You’ve got to believe you can win the match from the start and I did. I’m playing unbelievable tennis on the grass. He hit extraordinary shots, but he’s always going to bring that.” Kyrgios didn’t face any break points in the opening set, while Nadal staved off three, and won the tiebreaker with an ace on set point, his 13th ace of the stanza. Nadal started to get into Kyrios’ serve ever so slightly in the second set, but still didn’t earn a break point opportunity until the 12th game, when he cashed the second of two to win the set. Kyrgios saved a break point in 12th game of the third set (the only one of the set) and won the tie-break with a mini-break on his first set point. The 6-foot-4 Aussie broke Nadal in the fourth game of the final set and served it out without any further drama. Nadal didn’t play badly, but he didn’t make enough of an imprint on Kyrgios’ service to force extended rallies, his forte. Kyrgio’s serves were explosive. Nadal hit 11 aces and had 44 winners, numbers that would have resulted in a win against most anybody else. “The thing is this surface, when you have an opponent that decides to serve and to hit every ball very strong, you are in trouble,” Nadal said. “I think that I didn’t play really bad, but that’s the game in this surface.” Kyrgios plays big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

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