Nick Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon on Wednesday when the controversial Australian beat Cristian Garin of Chile in straight sets.
The world number 40 player won 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5). AFP
London: Nick Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon on Wednesday when the controversial Australian beat Cristian Garin of Chile in straight sets.
The world number 40 won 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) and will face either Rafael Nadal or Taylor Fritz to advance to the final.
“I never thought I’d be in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam. I thought that ship had sailed, that maybe I’d wasted that little window in my career,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m really happy to come here with my team and perform.
He added: “I felt I was playing a lot on the back foot. Garin is a damn good player. I was lucky with a couple of break points so I’m taking that and preparing for my next match.”
Kyrgios, who shot to fame when he beat Nadal as the 144th wild card at the tournament eight years ago, is the first Australian to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
He went into the match under a fresh cloud of controversy after it emerged he faces an Australian court next month to answer assault charges.
His Wimbledon 2022 has also been a rollercoaster.
The brilliant, crowd-pleasing shootout was accompanied by $14,000 in fines and an ugly, bitter feud with third-round opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The 27-year-old was certainly distracted in the opening stages of Wednesday’s match as Garin scored the first nine points.
But the Australian was back at 3-3 and grabbed the opening set in the 10th game.
Kyrgios prevailed in the second set and finished it off with his 10th ace of the competition.
Garin, looking to become the first Chilean to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals, ran into a brick wall with Kyrgios as the Australian saved eight of the nine break points he faced throughout the match.
The victory took Kyrgios’ record on grass in 2022 to 12 wins in 14 matches.
“I don’t have a coach – I would never put that kind of burden on someone,” Kyrgios said.
“Everyone in my team plays a very important role. No one knows my tennis better than me, I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven years old and I’m very happy.”
Garin backed Kyrgios as a potential champion.
“Of course. He’s in the semifinals. The way he served today – I’ve played all the great servers on tour – for me he has the best serve on tour.”
“He has a great chance to win the tournament.