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Sports

Nadal knocked out of Wimbledon by Kyrgios

© AFP (Rafael Nadal)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-01

World number one Rafael Nadal on Tuesday made an early exit from Wimbledon after losing to the Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.

The 144th-ranked Kyrgios, a wild-card entry, won 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 against the Spaniard after hitting 37 aces.

Playing in his first Wimbledon and second major, Kyrgios is the first player outside the top 100 to defeat a world number one at a Grand Slam since 193rd-ranked Andrei Olhovskiy downed Jim Courier in the third round at Wimbledon in 1992.

Kyrgios served out the match at love, hitting an ace on match point.

He’s the first man to get to the quarterfinals in his Wimbledon debut in 10 years.

"I was in a bit of a zone out there. It hasn't sunk in at all what's just played out there," Kyrgios said after the win.

"I played some extraordinary tennis. I was struggling a little bit on return but I worked my way into it and I got that break in the fourth set. I served at a really good level all throughout the match so I was really happy."

He said he always believed he could cause a sensation regardless of the status of Nadal who had arrived at Wimbledon having wrapped up a ninth French Open title.

"You've got to believe that you can win the match from the start and I definitely thought that. I'm playing some unbelievable tennis on the grass."

For Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, it was a third successive disappointing Wimbledon following a first round exit last year and a second round defeat in 2012.

No fear

For the fourth match in succession at this year's Wimbledon, Nadal dropped the first set against a confident Kyrgios, the player of Greek-Malaysian origin firing 13 aces and 22 winners past the bewildered Spaniard in the opener.

The Australian, showing no stagefright on his Centre Court bow, showed a brash disregard for the occasion, attempting a cheeky 'tweener' (hitting the ball from between the legs) in the seventh game of the second set.

But Nadal then levelled the tie by converting the first break points of the match in the 12th game.

That would usually signal the beginning of the end for an opponent of Nadal, but Kyrgios dug deep to seize his moment.

He saved a set point in the 12th game of the third set before again dominating the tiebreak to take it courtesy of a vicious run around forehand cross-courter off a Nadal second serve.

With Nadal wilting beneath the barrage, Kyrgios broke for a 3-1 lead in the fourth set and he wasn't going to let up.

He worked his way confidently to three match points but only needed one with his 37th ace shooting past the flat-footed Nadal.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

Date created : 2014-07-01

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