London - Australia's world number 144 Nick Kyrgios caused one of the greatest Wimbledon sensations on Tuesday when he sent world number one and 14-time Grand Slam title winner Rafael Nadal crashing to a shock defeat.
The 19-year-old Kyrgios, making his Wimbledon debut, clinched a
fearless 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 victory to become the first
wildcard in 10 years to make the quarter-finals at the All England Club.
is also the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world
number one since Andrei Olhovskiy stunned Jim Courier in the Wimbledon
third round in 1992.
It was a performance of brutal inventiveness
and uninhibited bludgeoning from a man who had had to save nine match
points in his second round win against Richard Gasquet and his reward is
a clash with Canada's Milos Raonic for a place in the semi-finals.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, it was a third successive
disappointing Wimbledon with Tuesday's fourth round loss following a
first round exit last year and a second round defeat in 2012.
All three defeats were against players outside the top 100.
he cannot argue with the statistics of Tuesday's Centre Court
demolition which showed Kyrgios firing 37 aces and 70 winners as a new
star was born.
"I was in a bit of a zone out there. It hasn't sunk in at all what's just played out out there," said Kyrgios.
played some extraordinary tennis. I was struggling a little bit on
return but I worked my way into it and I got that break in the fourth
set. I served at a really good level all throughout the match so I was
He said he always believed he could cause a
sensation regardless of the status of Nadal who had arrived at Wimbledon
having wrapped up a ninth French Open title.
"You've got to
believe that you can win the match from the start and I definitely
thought that. I'm playing some unbelievable tennis on the grass."
Nadal said defeat was hard to take as he only lost serve once.
"On a surface like this when he serves and hits every ball strongly, you are in trouble," said the second seed.
didn't think I played that badly. I was better in the first and third
sets but I wasn't able to convert my opportunities. He was better at the
other times. He did the things he needed to do to win on grass better
Nadal added: "I congratulate him. For me? The beach."
the fourth match in succession at this year's Wimbledon, Nadal dropped
the first set against a confident Kyrgios, the player of Greek-Malaysian
origin firing 13 aces and 22 winners past the bewildered Spaniard in
The Australian, showing no stagefright on his Centre
Court bow, showed a brash disregard for the occasion, attempting a
cheeky 'tweener' (hitting the ball from between the legs) in the seventh
game of the second set.
But Nadal then levelled the tie by converting the first break points of the match in the 12th game.
That would usually signal the beginning of the end for an opponent of Nadal, but Kyrgios dug deep to seize his moment.
saved a set point in the 12th game of the third set before again
dominating the tiebreak to take it courtesy of a vicious run around
forehand cross-courter off a Nadal second serve.
With Nadal wilting beneath the barrage, Kyrgios broke for a 3-1 lead in the fourth set and he wasn't going to let up.
He worked his way confidently to three match points but only needed one with his 37th ace shooting past the flat-footed Nadal.
Wimbledon results on Tuesday, the eighth day of the 2014 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeded player):
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x5) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x19) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (9/7), 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x4) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP x23) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN x8) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x10) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Lucie Safarova (CZE x23) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x22) 6-3, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x9) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS x5) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-4
Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-3, 6-0
Sabine Lisicki (GER x19) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4