Nick Kyrgios overcame a right shoulder injury to defeat Brandon Nakashima of the United States in five sets and make the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday.
Back on his best behaviour after his stormy and bitter third-round win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Australian came through 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-2.
Eight years after making his first Wimbledon quarter-final, the fiery 27-year-old will take on Chile’s Cristian Garin for a place in the semi-finals.
It will be Kyrgios’s first quarter-final at the Slams since the 2015 Australian Open after a performance in which he conjured up 35 aces and a total of 79 winners.
“I have played a lot of tennis in the past month and a half,” said Kyrgios, shrugging off his shoulder problem.
“His level didn’t drop but my five-set level is pretty good and I’ve been here before, done it before and that is what I was thinking about.
“I’ve never lost a five-setter here.”
He added: “I need a large glass of wine tonight for sure.”
Kyrgios said that beating Rafael Nadal on his Wimbledon debut as the world number 144 in 2014 helped carry him to victory on Monday.
“I stepped out here and played one of the greatest of all time when I beat Nadal. All those experiences that I’ve had got me over the line today.”
Nadal is a potential semi-final opponent at this year’s Wimbledon.
Unlike the fireworks and controversy of his win over Tsitsipas, Kyrgios cut a subdued figure in the Centre Court sunshine.
The 27-year-old had one minor grumble over the state of the court on one of the baselines before he started to feel his right shoulder.
Serve dominated the opener until Nakashima grabbed the only break on the 10th game.
Kyrgios, however, broke for 2-1 in the second set before calling for a medical timeout to treat his right shoulder.
The trainer reappeared again to massage the Australian’s shoulder before Kyrgios levelled the tie.
Seemingly against the odds, he then stormed through the third-set tiebreak, wrapping it up with a flashing crosscourt forehand.
Back came Nakashima in the fourth, breaking for 4-3 and taking the set courtesy of a lazy Kyrgios service game.
Despite looking down and out, Kyrgios rallied in the decider, passing the 100-ace mark for the tournament and breaking in the third and fifth games to secure the win.
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