|Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July|
|Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.|
Nick Kyrgios says “so many people will be upset” he has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals, but says it is a “good feeling” to silence his critics.
His entertaining SW19 run continued as he shrugged off a shoulder injury to beat American Brandon Nakashima 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 and reach his first major quarter-final in seven years.
He is joined in the last eight by Rafael Nadal, who continued his bid for a calendar Grand Slam with a 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6) victory over Botic van de Zandschulp.
Kyrgios was more subdued than in his fiery match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, staying largely quiet as he set up a meeting with Chile’s Cristian Garin.
The 27-year-old Australian maintained his focus in a disciplined display and put his success at the All England Club down to improving his habits off the court.
“There was a time where I was having to be forced out of a pub at 4am to play [Rafael] Nadal,” said Kyrgios, who is ranked 40th in the world.
“My agent had to come get me out before I played my match on Centre Court [at] Wimbledon. I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure.”
Unseeded Garin, 26, prevented an all-Australian encounter by fighting back from two sets down – and saving two match points in the fifth – to beat 19th seed Alex de Minaur.
The world number 43, more of a clay-court specialist, reached his first major quarter-final with a 2-6 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (10-6) victory.
Kyrgios eyes glass of wine after demanding win
All eyes were back on Kyrgios following his explosive third-round match against Greek fourth seed Tsitsipas, which became one of the biggest talking points of this year’s championships after containing so much drama.
While the match against Nakashima on Centre Court lacked the fireworks of Saturday night on Court One, it was an absorbing slow burner.
Break opportunities were rare as the pair dominated their service games, with Kyrgios’ injury issue further making a match with fluctuating swings difficult to call.
After securing a hard-fought win with his first match point, he said: “I need a large glass of wine tonight for sure.”
On how he managed to battle past 20-year-old Nakashima, he added: “It wasn’t anywhere near my best performance level-wise but I’m super happy to get through and I fought really hard.
“I’ve played a lot of tennis in the past month and a half and I’m proud of the way I steadied the ship.”
Kyrgios reached his first Wimbledon quarter-final since 2014 when, as a 19-year-old wildcard, he stunned then world number one Rafael Nadal.
Another run to the Australian Open last eight followed in 2015, but he has been unable to reach the same stage again until now.
“To sit here in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, feeling good, feeling composed, feeling mature, having good people around me, I’m extremely blessed,” said Kyrgios.
“I feel like I’m just comfortable in my own skin.”
He said he “doesn’t care” about the criticism he received after the Tsitsipas match – an encounter which resulted in both players being fined for their conduct – and that he just laughs about it.
“I have a massive chip on my shoulder. Like I sit here now in quarter-finals Wimbledon again, and I just know there’s so many people that are so upset,” he said with a smile.
Kyrgios now able to ‘mentally deal’ with niggles
While people regularly discuss his mentality when debating why a player of such talent has not won more titles, injuries are another factor in what have stalled Kyrgios’ progress over recent years.
Physical problems came to the fore again for the Australian, who pulled out of the Mallorca Open last month with an abdominal injury, at the end of the first set against Nakashima.
“I woke up after playing Tsitsipas and had some shoulder pain,” he said.
“I almost knew that it was time for my body to start feeling some niggles. I think that’s normal. At this time in the event I don’t think anyone is feeling 100%.
“Mentally I feel like I just deal with these things a lot better now.”
In an even opener, neither player made an impression on the other’s serve until Kyrgios, looking impaired by the problem, suddenly struggled with his returns and the American pinched the advantage.
At the start of the second set he continued to grimace and tried to loosen the affected shoulder between points.
Nevertheless he broke in the third game, helped by a double fault and shank by Nakashima, before calling for the physio at the changeover.
After taking painkillers and receiving regular treatment, he managed to move into a two-sets-to-one lead as the match progressed at a rapid pace.
Another twist came when Kyrgios lost his way in the fourth set – which he said was a “complete rope-a-dope tactic”.
Kyrgios tanked the final game as he casually returned – and even served underarm on Nakashima’s first set point, which he still won – but composed himself to run away with the decider.
“I just threw away that service game. I knew he was in a rhythm. He was starting to get on top of me,” said Kyrgios.
“I wanted to throw him off a little bit. It worked.”
Nadal continues calendar Slam bid
Nadal is playing his first Wimbledon since 2019 and first since having radiofrequency ablation treatment on his chronic foot injury to quell long-term nerve pain.
The Spaniard, aiming for a third Wimbledon title, was in control of the match for the opening two sets, saving the sole break point he faced on the way to taking the lead.
However, he faltered when serving for the match, being broken at 5-3 after a scruffy game and he was ultimately forced into a tie-break by the Dutchman.
Nadal missed three match points from 6-3 up in the breaker before finally taking his fourth on a missed overhead from world number 25 Van de Zandschulp.
“I think I continued in a positive way until the end where I played a bad game,” Nadal said.
“In a personal way, for me to be able to be in the quarter-finals after three years is amazing for me so I’m very, very happy.”
He will face Taylor Fritz next after the American reached a maiden major quarter-final with a 6-3 6-1 6-4 win over Jordan Thompson of Australia.