London - Richard Gasquet avenged last year's painful Wimbledon loss against
Nick Kyrgios as the French 21st seed moved into the quarter-finals with a
7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (8/6) victory over the controversial
Australian on Monday.
Gasquet had wasted nine match points while squandering a two-set lead in a second round defeat to Kyrgios 12 months ago.
But the 29-year-old made amends on Court Two with a powerful display
against the 26th seed, who helped the Frenchman by appearing to
deliberately lose several points in the second set.
Gasquet, who made the semi-finals in 2007, will play French Open
champion Stan Wawrinka or Belgian 16th seed David Goffin for a place in
the last four.
Gasquet's victory also improved his miserable record in Grand Slam
last 16 ties -- he had lost 16 of his previous 18 matches at that stage.
The 29-year-old's vast natural gifts have yet to bring sustained
success, with his best runs at the majors ending in semi-final defeats
at Wimbledon and the US Open two years ago.
Kyrgios had earned a reputation as something of a malcontent during
the first week of the tournament as he argued with umpires, shouting out
'dirty scum' during one row, bounced a racket into the crowd, and
claimed he didn't care if he was fined or how people viewed his antics.
The brash 20-year-old looked in the groove when he broke in the
opening game of the match, but Gasquet was unfazed, hitting back in the
fourth game and going on to take the set with his second break.
Kyrgios was reduced to applauding admiringly when Gasquet unfurled yet another sublime backhand winner late in the first set.
And when he blurted out that "I might as well just leave now", it
signalled one of the volatile Kyrgios's infamous mood swings, with
Gasquet quick to punish the Australian's lack of focus.
He broke in the second game of the second set and Kyrgios responded
petulantly - appearing to 'tank' in the next game as he walked in the
opposite direction to one Gasquet serve and then gently knocked another
return into the net.
Kyrgios broke early in the third set, only to let Gasquet off the
hook when he dropped serve soon after - reacting to that failure in
typically eccentric style by hugging a ball-boy.
After saving two match points at 5-6, Kyrgios made the most of his escape to take the tie-break.
But Gasquet kept plugging away and finally saw off the Australian in the fourth set tie-break.
Results at Wimbledon on Monday, the seventh day of the 2015 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeding):
Richard Gasquet (FRA x21) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x26) 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (8/6)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB x22) 4-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Venus Williams (USA x16) 6-4, 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE x6) 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/4)
Madison Keys (USA x21) bt Olga Govortsova (BLR) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1