Kyrgios beats Nakashima to reach Wimbledon quarterfinals

The Australian was on his best behaviour in front of the Royal Box as he won 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2



Nick Kyrgios plays a forehand return against Brandon Nakashima. (Reuters)
Nick Kyrgios plays a forehand return against Brandon Nakashima. (Reuters)

By AP/Reuters

Published: Mon 4 Jul 2022, 8:11 PM

An angelic Nick Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal for seven years when he recovered from a slow start to beat steady American Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Monday.

With Kyrgios’s bad-tempered Court One victory over fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas still the talk of the town, the Australian was on his best behaviour in front of the Royal Box as he ground out a 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2 win.

Unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin awaits in the last eight, offering Kyrgios a golden opportunity to surpass his quarterfinal run at Wimbledon on his debut in 2014.

After the mayhem of Saturday, when Kyrgios was accused by Tsitsipas of being a bully, he let his tennis do the talking against the 20-year-old Nakashima, barely uttering a word in anger throughout a contest that contained few of the fireworks usually associated with the Australian.

If anything the world number 40 looked subdued in the opening set and appeared to be bothered by a stiff shoulder.

Two forehand errors at 4-5 gifted Nakashima the opening set as Kyrgios looked in danger of an anti-climactic exit.

But he broke serve for 2-1 in the second set and, after having treatment on his shoulder, gradually cranked up the power to level the match.

Nakashima’s focus was total as he kept his nose in front in the third set and he came within two points of taking the set when Kyrgios again served at 4-5.

This time Kyrgios served his way out of trouble and he turned on the style to race throughout the tiebreak.

Kyrgios suddenly went off the boil and he was broken twice in succession as Nakashima took it into a decider but he fired himself up to race away to victory.

Serving for the match, the 27-year-old recovered from 0-30 down and sealed the victory with a silky volley winner.

Five-set epic

Earlier, Cristian Garin came from two sets down and saved two match points in the fifth before beating Alex de Minaur to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The unseeded Chilean trailed 5-3 in the first-to-10 fifth-set tiebreaker before winning six straight points to take a 9-5 lead. He then converted his second match point to advance 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) on No. 2 Court after 4 hours, 34 minutes.

He is the first Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Fernando Gonzales in 2009.

The 19th-seeded De Minaur had never lost a set against Garin in three previous meetings and looked set to maintain that streak when he led 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker. The Australian then held two match points at 5-4 in the fifth.

Rybakina advances

Elena Rybakina is into the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time after beating Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3 on No. 1 Court.

The 17th-seeded Rybakina broke in the final game of the first set and then again for a 4-2 lead in the second. She finished with 26 winners to 13 for her opponent.

Rybakina reached the French Open quarterfinals last year, when she made the fourth round at Wimbledon in her first appearance at the All England Club. Martic was playing Wimbledon for the 10th time but has never been past the fourth round.

Rybakina will next play either Alize Cornet or Ajla Tomljanovic.


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