From the moment he coolly pulled off this shot of the year in the second set:
There was a feeling something special was on the cards.
And when Aussie 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios blasted his final withering ace past Rafael Nadal to knock the World No 1 out of Wimbledon this morning, even he didn’t know how to react.
7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. He simply dropped his racquet and stared at his coaching team in the crowd. His father George and sister Halimah were in tears nearby.
“I didn’t know what to do, there are so many emotions,” he said. “I didn’t know whether to drop my racquet, to drop to my knees.
“It is unbelievable.”
Even his mum Nill wrote Kyrgios off before the match, which the world No 144 admitted after his win had annoyed him.
“I don’t know what she was thinking,” he said.
“You’ve got to believe you can win the match and I did,” Kyrgios said. “You’ve got to believe that you can win and that’s the way I approached it.
“I think I was in a bit of zone out there, I played some extradorindary tennis, I served at a really good level out there.”
His serve was a huge weapon against Nadal – 37 aces and just 14 double faults saw the Spaniard dispatched in four sets – four – and just under three hours.
Next up is Milos Raonic, the world No 8 and first Canadian to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the Open era. If he gets past that match, which is tonight, he’s a real shot at becoming the lowest-ranked player to win Wimbledon. Goran Ivanisevic holds the honour, from his 2001 win over Pat Rafter when he ranked 125.
Eighteen months ago, Kyrgios was ranked 828. Now he’s guaranteed at least a rankings rise to 66 – and $432,000.
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