LONDON (REUTERS) – Nick Kyrgios reached the first Grand Slam semi-final of his chequered career with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) victory over Chile’s Cristian Garin at Wimbledon on Wednesday (July 6).
The unseeded 27-year-old lost the opening nine points on Court One but ultimately had too much firepower for Garin who had hoped to become Chile’s first Wimbledon semi-finalist.
In surpassing his previous best Wimbledon run to the quarter-finals eight years ago, Kyrgios becomes the first Australian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Lleyton Hewitt at the 2005 US Open.
On the eve of the match, Kyrgios was summoned to appear in a Canberra court next month on an alleged common assault charge, hardly ideal preparation for one of his biggest matches.
But any off-court distractions he managed to put to one side in a relatively low-volume display sprinkled occasionally with the instinctive shot-making that makes him such a draw.
As in his five-set win over American Brandon Nakashima in the previous round, Kyrgios kept his volatile temperament under wraps, although he regularly lambasted his sizeable entourage as the match dragged on, calling for more support.
Once again his serve underpinned his game, digging him out of trouble whenever Garin threatened to drag himself back into a contest that drifted away from him after his fast start.
Kyrgios saved eight of the nine break points he faced, including two at 4-4 in the first set.
Garin, who beat Kyrgios’ compatriot Alex De Minaur from two sets down in the previous round, battled hard to extend the third set to a tiebreaker and led 5-3 in it before Kyrgios hit back to win the last four points.
One of tennis’ great enigmas will now face Rafa Nadal or Taylor Fritz in the semis.
“An amazing atmosphere again,” world number 40 Kyrgios, the lowest-ranked semi-finalist at Wimbledon since Marat Safin (75) and Rainer Schuettler (94) in 2008, said.
“I never thought I’d be in the semi-final of a Grand Slam. I thought that ship had sailed – that I may have wasted that window in my career.
“I’m really happy I was able to come out here with my team and put on a performance.”