Nick Kyrgios' sad admission after 17-year Aussie first at Wimbledon

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Nick Kyrgios, pictured here looking emotional after his win over Cristian Garin at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios was emotional after his win over Cristian Garin at Wimbledon. Image: Wimbledon/Getty

Nick Kyrgios has made the sad admission that he never thought he'd make a grand slam semi-final after his extraordinary win over Cristian Garin at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios is the first Australian men's player to make the semis at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 following his 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over unseeded Chilean Garin on Wednesday.

'DO BETTER': Tennis world rages over question for Ajla Tomljanovic

'NOT GOOD': Sad detail in photo of Nick Kyrgios' family at Wimbledon

The victory set up a blockbuster showdown with Rafa Nadal in the final four on Friday, in what will be the Aussie's long-awaited first appearance in a semi-final at a major.

Kyrgios' previous best results at grand slam level were his quarter-final losses to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon in 2014, and to Andy Murray at the Australian Open in 2015.

The 27-year-old appeared to be in tears as he sat on his court-side seat and soaked in the moment, before admitting he never thought he'd actually get this far at a major.

"I just never thought I'd be at a semi-finals of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed," he said.

"Honestly, I didn't go about things great earlier in my career and I thought I may have wasted that little window."

One of the most gifted yet volatile talents in tennis, Kyrgios described his journey to his first grand slam semi as "rocky".

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here after beating Cristian Garin in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios celebrates after beating Cristian Garin in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

"Honestly, at the start of the year, I didn't even know if I wanted to really play like a proper schedule at all. I don't really play a proper schedule now," he added.

"I obviously had thoughts the last year, year and a half, whether I wanted to play anymore. Lost the love, lost the fire, lost the spark.

"Then some things just changed in my life. I don't know. I kind of just rediscovered that I've got a lot of people that want me to play, that I play for.

"I've got a lot left in the tank. I feel like I'm probably playing some of my best tennis, mentally feeling great.

"It's been a long road. I think it was a seven, eight-year gap to make a quarter-final here from my first one. It's been a heck of a ride."

Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal in blockbuster semi-final

Now Kyrgios is the first Australian male to progress to the singles semi-finals at the All England Club since 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt made the last four 17 years ago in 2005.

Fittingly, he will square off once more with Nadal - eight years after he shocked the tennis world as a teenager by knocking out the then-World No.1 in his Wimbledon debut.

In 2019 Nadal managed to get revenge on Kyrgios when he won a spiteful four-set battle in the second round.

Little wonder Kyrgios said it would be extra special to face the most prolific grand slam singles champion in men's tennis for a spot in Sunday's final.

Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal, pictured here shaking hands after their clash at Wimbledon in 2019.
Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal shake hands after their clash at Wimbledon in 2019. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

"We've had some absolute battles on that centre court. He's won one against me, and I've won one against him," Kyrgios said.

"Two completely different personalities. I feel like we respect the hell out of each other, though. I feel like that would be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world.

"That would probably be the most-watched match of all time. I would argue that."

Keeping alive his quest for the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969, Nadal overcame a painful abdominal injury to outlast American 11th seed Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) in a fifth-set super-tiebreaker in Wednesday's other quarter-final.

But when asked if he'd be fit to play Kyrgios on Friday, Nadal shrugged: "I don't know.

"Honestly, I can't give you a clear answer because if, tomorrow, another thing happens, I will be a liar.

"It's the player decision, but at the same time I need to know different opinions and need to check everything the proper way, no?

"Something more important than winning Wimbledon, that is the health. Let's see how this is going."

Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and British ninth seed Cameron Norrie will feature in Friday's other semi-final.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting