Last year Aussie Nick Kyrgios was lifting the boys’ Wimbledon junior title. This year he’s beating current No. 2 and former Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal.
Some players, it seems, are impatient with the average 6-8 years to crack the Top 100 on the ATP Rankings.
On Tuesday the No. 144-ranked Kyrgios out-served and generally out-hit Nadal 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in his first main draw appearance.
“I think I was in a bit of a zone out there,” the 19-year-old wildcard told the BBC. “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. You’ve got to believe you can win the match from the start and I did. I’m playing unbelievable tennis on the grass.”
Kyrgios will next meet Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat him in straight sets this year at the French Open.
The No. 8-seeded Raonic on Tuesday came from a set down to defeat No. 10 Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3.
The top two Swiss players set up a quarterfinal meeting when Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka advanced, both in straight sets.
The No. 5-seeded Wawrinka defeated No. 19 Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(7), 6-3, while the No. 4-seeded Federer beat No. 23 Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer lost only three service points against Robredo in the first two sets.
“It’s going to be fun, I hope,” said Wawrinka to ESPN. “Playing him on grass here at Wimbledon is going to be something special for sure. He’s won so many times; he’s playing so well. But I’m happy with the way I’m playing so far since the beginning of the tournament.”
Federer has not won a Slam since Wimbledon two years ago.
“I feel like my game’s right there,” said Federer. “It’s important to keep it up and not have any major let downs or minor hiccups. I need to be really focused out there. I’m able to do that. I’m healthy. Things are exactly where I want them to be.”
On the women’s side the major upset was No. 9 seed Angelique Kerber hanging on when things got tight, ousting former champ and No. 5 seed Maria Sharapova 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4.
Kerber ended a streak of 22 matches won of her last 23 for Sharapova, including the French Open title.
“It’s unbelievable,” Kerber told the BBC. “It was such a tough match. We were playing on a really high level, and it was so close — every single set was so close…I’m happy I won this battle and am in the quarterfinals now.”
Kerber will next meet another player along the long-legged groundstroke-pounding Sharapova style, Canadian Genie Bouchard.
Other fourth round winners were No. 3 seed Simona Halep routing unseeded Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-0, and her next opponent, No. 19 seed Sabine Lisicki outlasting Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Advancing to a all-Czech semifinal meeting were No. 6 Petra Kvitova and No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kvitova ended the run of unseeded fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5, while Safarova eased past Russian No. 22 seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-1.
Upon reaching her first Slam semifinal, Safarova tweeted, “Semifinals of Wimbledon!!! No words…just tears of happiness!!!!”
It is the first Wimbledon semifinal for Kvitova since she won the title in 2011.
“I really didn’t want a third set because I knew we would probably have to close the roof, so there were many things on my mind at the time,” Kvitova said. “When I lost my serve for the first time in the set, I knew that I would really have to try to break back, and I’m glad that I was able to.”
On tap for Wednesday at the All England Club are (3) Andy Murray vs. (11) Grigor Dimitrov, (3) Simona Halep vs. (19) Sabine Lisicki, (5) Stan Wawrinka vs. (4) Roger Federer, (13) Eugenie Bouchard vs. (9) Angelique Kerber, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (26) Marin Cilic, and (8) Milos Raonic vs. Nick Kyrgios.
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