Nick Kyrgios storms into Wimbledon quarter-finals after five-set battle with Brandon Nakashima

The Australian will now play Cristian Garin in the quarter-finals after the Chilean’s five-set win over No19 seed Alex De Minaur

<p>Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrates</p>

Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrates

Subdued for so long, Nick Kyrgios finally found his spark to extend his rollercoaster ride at Wimbledon and lock up a place in the quarter-finals for just the second time. Kyrgios inspired a feverish ride two nights earlier, but this afternoon proved more of an attritional affair against Brandon Nakashima, lacking the spice of his rivalry with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The curiosity and excitement that swirled around this fourth-round match instead centred over whether Kyrgios would produce the sublime, ludicrous or, preferably, a mixture of both. Already hit with fines totalling £11,560 this fortnight for spitting and swearing, the Australian maverick has proved a divisive figure. Part of the ‘Fantastic Four’ Australians, alongside Alex de Minaur, Jason Kubler and Ajla Tomljanovic, to reach the last 16 for the first time since 1999, the pantomime villain of SW19 lacked a dance partner to mirror Saturday’s theatrics.

Instead, he found the unassuming Nakashima, the youngest American to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Andy Roddick in 2003, who had already evidenced his intense focus and polished game in a victory over last year’s semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov in the second round.

No longer at the centre of a “circus”, as aptly described by Tsitsipas after their turbulent third-round match, a subdued Kyrgios struggled for that bolt of inspiration, even discarding several challenges to break up the methodical nature of the match.

Neat and tidy, Nakashima refused to nibble at any bait, with his game resembling a patient Test match bowler, routinely throwing down line and length and waiting for his opponent to crack.

Nakashima proved a worthy opponent, his calmness untested by Kyrgios’s theatrics

Kyrgios, labelled “evil” and “a bully” by Tsitsipas just 48 hours earlier, looked likely to do so, barely stretching for a ball in the opener before crushing a forehand winner and sending down two venomous serves to level matters. His stony persona remained until agitating for his right shoulder in the seventh game. The issue endured into his service game with the precious seconds between points used to self-massage the area. But Nakashima ruthlessly exposed his limitation, whipping a lovely forehand to the problematic side to secure the break and capture the first set.

Kyrgios, despite grimacing, refused to let up the ferocious edge to his service game, which formed the foundation of his second-set charge. The world No 40’s infuriating antics sometimes obscure the formidable game beneath, with Nakashima routinely dismantled by serves reaching up to 137mph. And with precious few opportunities to return, the pressure on Nakashima’s serve finally told. A double-fault handed Kyrgios the break and the set.

The Australian’s shoulder issue persisted though, with a medical timeout called at 3-2 in the third, limiting him to shorter rallies. But the 27-year-old retained a seemingly impenetrable service game throughout the set, hammering nine aces and winning 91 per cent of his first-serve points to force a tie-break. Kyrgios stayed loyal to his trusted weapon before a pair of timely returns clinched a breathless 7-2 tie-break to seize control of the match.

Kyrgios swung between petulance and general grand slam contender

While Kyrgios, the grand slam contender, has emerged over the last eight days, his ugly side can reappear at pivotal stages. And after two subdued hours, Kyrgios’s petulance belatedly emerged in the fourth as he all but handed Nakashima the set at 5-3, with his serves barely reaching 70mph.

Kyrgios summoned the willpower to reinvigorate himself for the deciding set, though, and overpowered Nakashima with a sudden change of pace. After grinding the match out over three hours and 11 minutes, relief consumed Kyrgios, who revealed his immense effort required “a glass of wine” later. The pantomime resumes on Wednesday, with Cristian Garin up next after a marathon victory of his own against Alex De Minaur. You can be sure that with Kyrgios, it will not be dull.

Cristian Garin came from two sets down to edge out Alex de Minaur

Chile’s Cristian Garin pulled off an epic comeback to rally from two sets and 3-0 down, saving two match points, to beat Australian Alex de Minaur in five sets.

Garin, who plays Kyrgios next, ground out the win 2-6 5-7 7-6(3) 6-4 7-6(6) after four hours 34 minutes with both thrilling the Number Two Court with tremendous variety to their tennis, including subtle drop shots and volleys to complement their brutal groundstrokes.

“I just gave everything I have, it was a very tough fight,” said Garin. “I am exhausted. I just gave my best, I went to the net and tried to be aggressive with my serve as well – I think that was the key.”

Elsewhere, Taylor Fritz triumphed 6-3 6-1 6-4 over qualifier Jason Kubler to reach the quarter-finals and match the feat of his mother, Kathy May, who made three grand slam quarter-finals in the late 1970s.

The champion earlier in the grass-court season at Eastbourne had too much for Kubler, who had stunned most by advancing to the second week after six knee operations during his career.

“My first grand slam quarter-final, that’s really a big deal,” said the 11th seed. “Part of the final eight and... I’m glad I could get the win on the 4th of July, being American.”

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