Nick Kyrgios too hot for Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova bows out, Serena Williams retires

Jul 02 2014, 07:42 IST
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SummaryWhile magnanimous in defeat, Rafael Nadal offered a few words of caution.

This time there was no escape for world No.1 Rafael Nadal.

For the fourth match in a row at this year's Wimbledon he got his fingers burned when losing the first set - only this time he was engulfed by player with dynamite in his strings.

How the tournament organisers must be slapping themselves on the back for handing Australian upstart Nick Kyrgios a wildcard.

On Tuesday the 19-year-old world number 144 took his dream Wimbledon debut to dizzy new heights with a spellbinding display on Centre Court to outplay the twice champion using a barrage of aces and crunching baseline winners.

His 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3 win was the first by a player ranked outside the top 100 over a world No.1 at a grand slam since Jim Courier lost to Andrei Olhovsky in 1992.

Olhovsky never did much else but Kyrgios's victory, sealed with a 37th ace, felt as though it could be a seminal moment in the evolution of men's tennis - a warning shot to the "big-four".

Yes, Lukas Rosol and Steve Darcis, also ranked outside the world's top 100, ended Nadal's previous two Wimbledon campaigns, but they played probably the matches of their careers to do it.

Kyrgios's career is just beginning and the way he overwhelmed Nadal with a fearless brand of tennis, who knows where his first Wimbledon adventure could end up?

"He is acting to me like he can win the whole tournament," three-times Wimbledon champion John McEnroe said after witnessing a match that will enter Wimbledon folklore.

"The last guy that I saw like that was Boris Becker, a teenager who just believed that he would beat everything that was put in his way."


While magnanimous in defeat, Nadal offered a few words of caution.

"It's easier when you are arriving. Everything is new, nothing to lose. Everything is good. We'll see if he's able to improve and play at a very high level for a long period of time, but I wish him all the best."

Nadal won the French Open aged 19 and has gone on to capture 13 more grand slam titles.

Kyrgios described himself as "just a normal 19-year-old kid" on Tuesday but said some pre-match comments from his mother Norlaila that Nadal would be a match too far for her son had fired him up for the biggest day of his life.

"I was actually reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me," he said.

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