WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for headline-hogging Nick Kyrgios quarter-final date with destiny – and Cristian Garin.
23:30 (AEST), Wed 6th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: It’s all getting very real for Nick Kyrgios, lining up for his shot at a maiden grand slam semi-final as a red-hot $1.24 favourite.
Kyrgios had previously been past the Round of 16 at a major just twice – at Wimbledon in 2014 and the 2015 Australian Open. But the 27-year-old has coupled his trademark histrionics with some sensational tennis to power into the last eight at the All England club.
It’s inevitably been a controversial rollercoaster: a five-set struggle against unknown Paul Jubb in the first round, a straight-sets masterclass against 26th seed Filip Krajinovic in the second, a fiery four-setter against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third and another five-set battle against fourth-round bolter Brandon Nakashima.
Kyrgios dropped the first set to Nakashima and was chastised for allegedly tanking in the fourth set. But he rallied to carve out a 4-6 6-4 7-6 3-6 6-2 victory. The Canberra native sent 35 aces past Nakashima, taking his tournament total to over 100.
Cristian Garin’s journey to a maiden slam quarter-final has been comparatively understated, yet no less remarkable. He dodged a bullet when first-round opponent and 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini contracted COVID and withdrew.
The Chilean instead powered past Elias Ymer and then Hugo Grenier in straight sets, before outlasting 29th seed Jenson Brooksby in four. A distinct underdog against 19th-seeded Alex de Minaur, world No.43 Garin denied an all-Australian quarter-final by coming from two sets down and saved two match points to pull off a stunning 2-6 5-7 7-6 6-4 7-6 triumph.
Both players will come into their first tour-level match-up weary from their fourth-round five-setters. Kyrgios is also carrying a shoulder complaint, while breaking news of an assault charge is another unwelcome distraction for the tempestuous one.
But Kyrgios’ best over the past week is enough to even make the likes of Djokovic and Nadal nervous. There will be a few bumps in the road against the dogged Garin, no doubt, but Kyrgios’ unorthodox genius should lift him to a likely semi-final blockbuster against Rafa.
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