Candid Nick Kyrgios admits to past mistakes and says he thought he’d never reach Grand Slam semi-final as Australian seals clash against Rafael Nadal in last four at Wimbledon 2022

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Nick Kyrgios’ Wimbledon fairy tale goes on as he booked his place in the men’s singles semi-finals with a routine win over Cristian Garin.

The Court One encounter was uneventful by Kyrgios’ standards as he breezed to a straight sets victory, winning 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5) against the Chilean.

Kyrgios’ previous best at a Grand Slam was the quarter-finals at Wimbledon 2014

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Kyrgios’ previous best at a Grand Slam was the quarter-finals at Wimbledon 2014

We saw a new side to the temperamental Australian after the match

AFP

We saw a new side to the temperamental Australian after the match

Minus a little spat with a line judge and the umpire just before he won on match point, this was a highly professional performance from the Australian.

And his post-match interview revealed a new side to his personality, with an emotional Kyrgios admitting he felt past mistakes meant he wouldn’t ever get as far as the last four of a Grand Slam.

“Amazing atmosphere again, I honestly never thought I’d be at a semi-final of a Grand Slam. I thought my ship had sailed,” Kyrgios said.

“I didn’t go about things great in my earlier career and may have wasted that little window.

“But you know coming back out here with my team and being able to put on a performance…”

He added: “I don’t have a coach, I’d never put that burden on someone! But each and every one of my team plays a very important role.


There’s a Kyrgios mania at Wimbledon

AFP

There’s a Kyrgios mania at Wimbledon

“No one knows my tennis better than I do, I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven years old. To get to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, I’m very happy.”

His run to the semis may have been marred by run-ins with umpires, line judges, opponents, the media, the crowd and the fashion police.

But Kyrgios was on his best behaviour – relatively speaking – on Wednesday, even striding on to Court One in white trainers rather than his preferred red ones which breach the strict SW19 dress code.

Garin, the world no.43, had never won a match at Wimbledon before but got a lucky break when his first-round opponent Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed and among the favourites for title, withdrew due to COVID.

Garin gave a good account of himself but Kyrgios was always in control

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Garin gave a good account of himself but Kyrgios was always in control

The draw opened up invitingly for the 26-year-old, who comes from a country which does not even have any grass courts, but his luck ran out against Kyrgios.

Yet in a bizarre start to the match Garin won the first eight points to lead 2-0.

But Kyrgios, amid the constant chuntering and gesticulating towards his box, broke back for 3-3.

Kyrgios, again taking far longer between serves than he had in his fiery third-round win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, was then gifted the opening set by four unforced errors from his increasingly nervous looking opponent.

An early break in the second, to love, courtesy of more loose shots from Garin, put Kyrgios in complete control.

Garin, to his credit, proved a tough nut to crack in the third and took it the distance, and it would not be a Kyrgios match without the inevitable disputed line call – this time on match point – before a Garin forehand floated wide to rubber-stamp his opponent as a Wimbledon semi-finalist.

Kyrgios takes on Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, the Spaniard playing through the pain barrier to seal an incredible comeback victory in five sets against American Taylor Fritz.

This is what it means to reach a Wimbledon semi-final for the first time

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This is what it means to reach a Wimbledon semi-final for the first time

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