Wimbledon 2014: Showman Nick Kyrgios unable to follow up win over Rafael Nadal
The Australian teenager lost to Milos Raonic who set up a semi-final with Roger Federer
Somewhere on a Majorcan beach Rafael Nadal is nodding sagely. He suspected the storm might blow itself out and on the show court next door, 24 hours after running through the world No 1 on Centre Court, Nick Kyrgios was on the wrong end of the drama.
The relative inexperience of a 19-year-old boy ranked 144 in the world riding a wild card for all its worth finally met with the appropriate response. There is no blowing Milos Raonic off court, a man with weapons every bit as potent as those deployed by Kyrgios and more besides.
The eighth seed from Canada sent down 39 aces, five on the second serve, en route to a 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 victory. We are sad to see Kyrgios go, of course, though a month ago, when he was losing in the first round of a Challenger event in Nottingham, he could not have dreamt of going out in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
And he made Raonic, the first Canadian male to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in more than a century, work for his victory, saving three match points in the fourth set tie-break before finally laying down his racket.
There were moments when Kyrgios reprised the exuberance of his big night, particularly in taking the first set on a tie-break. The two-handed salute on the closer points was a favourite. The intimacy of these courts lends itself to the showman and in Kyrgios the game has unearthed an exemplar of the breed. Sadly for him, there would be too few opportunities to bask thereafter. A net cord at the critical moment in the fifth game of the second set allowed Raonic to convert a break point. By such small margins are gains made. Kyrgios lost concentration, his game dropped a level and the set was gone.
His rally in the fourth when lesser beings might have called it a day suggests a big future still beckons. The scalp of Richard Gasquet, against whom he saved nine match points, as well as Nadal’s, tells us he is no flash in the pan.
But it is Raonic who advances to meet Roger Federer in the semis, a coup for Canada after Eugenie Bouchard booked her place in the last four of the women’s singles. “I just have to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Raonic. “I’m playing well, serving well. It’s a great opportunity against a great champion.”
Jose Mourinho-Arsene Wenger feud is not sporting, but keeps alive raw spirit of competition - Sam Wallace
Cristiano Ronaldo buys agent Jorge Mendes a whole Greek island as a wedding present
Premier League 2015/16 preview: Club-by-club guide to the new season
Pedro to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal says £22m winger can turn Manchester United into champions
Can Arsenal win the Premier League? Is Raheem Sterling the answer to Man City's problems? Can anything stop Chelsea?
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 3 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality