Wimbledon 2014: Nick Kyrgios beats former champion Rafael Nadal in four sets
The world number one lost over four sets
Tuesday 01 July 2014
Teenage sensation Nick Kyrgios dumped two-time champion and second seed Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon to reach his first grand slam quarter-final.
The 19-year-old Australian condemned Nadal to a 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 defeat, completing three miserable years at Wimbledon for the five-time finalist.
The Canberra native got the better of the 14-time grand slam champion and current world number one, to book a last-eight clash with Canada's Milos Raonic.
Australian great Rod Laver predicted his young compatriot would receive a grand slam yardstick from his fourth-round clash with Nadal.
Instead Kyrgios upended one of tennis' most stubborn operators, to rubber-stamp his breakthrough season.
Kyrgios will leave Wimbledon this summer having cut into the men's top 100 rankings for the first time, but he is by no means finished yet.
Nadal lost out in the first round in 2013 to Steve Darcis, a year after slumping to a second-round defeat at the hands of Lukas Rosol.
This year Nadal entered Wimbledon in prime fitness, reporting no issues with his long-troublesome knees, and boasting a ninth French Open title.
The 28-year-old from Majorca was unable to impose his usual grinding tactics though, with Kyrgios' powerful serve and high-octane approach prevailing.
Kyrgios admitted he gained motivation after hearing mother Norlaila give an interview back in Australia admitting Nadal was the pre-match favourite.
"I saw an interview with her saying he was too good, so that made me a bit angry and that helped!" he joked.
"I think I was in a bit of a zone out there, I didn't really notice the crowd that much.
"I played extraordinary tennis.
"I got that break in the fourth set, served really well throughout the match, and I'm really happy.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet.
"You've got to believe that you can win from the outset, and I always do that.
"He hit some unbelievable shots."
Admitting he was at a loss how to celebrate, he said: "I didn't know what to do: I've just turned to everyone that's supported me my whole life.
"I didn't really know what that dance was."
Kyrgios produced the shot of the tournament so far with a casual flick between his legs midway through the second set.
The nonchalant winner yielded an immediate social-media response but even at that stage, with Kyrgios boasting a one-set lead, few would have predicted what was to follow.
Nadal's pattern of dropping the first set only to storm back and claim the following three suggested the world's top-ranked star would eventually wrestle control.
The clay-court king hustled his way to the second set in a daunting momentum shift, after Kyrgios had won the opening exchange via tie-break.
Unflappable teenager Kyrgios hit back immediately though, stealing a second tie-break for a 2-1 lead.
When he pinched his first service break of the match in the fourth set however, he had Nadal cornered - and then held his nerve to serve out for an emphatic victory.
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