LONDON: Nick Kyrgios reached the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Chile’s Cristian Garin at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The unseeded 27-year-old lost the opening nine points on Court One but ultimately had too much firepower for Garin, who had hoped to become Chile’s first Wimbledon semi-finalist.
In surpassing his previous best Wimbledon run to the quarter-finals eight years ago, Kyrgios becomes the first Australian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for 17 years.
On the eve of the match, Kyrgios was summoned to appear in a Canberra court next month on an alleged assault charge, hardly ideal preparation for one of his biggest matches. But he managed to put any off-court distractions to one side in a relatively low-volume display sprinkled with the instinctive shot-making that makes him such a draw.
As in his five-set win over American Brandon Nakashima in the previous round, Kyrgios kept his volatile temperament under wraps, although he regularly lambasted his sizeable entourage as the match dragged on.
Rybakina sets up semi-final with Halep
Elena Rybakina recovered from a shaky start to defeat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and set up a Wimbledon semi-final with Simona Halep. With the quarter-final win, she became the first Kazakhstan player to reach the last-four of a Grand Slam.
Rybakina, the 17th seed, struggled in the first set but then found her serving range, taking seven games in a row at one point to secure the second set and put her in control of the third. The 23-year-old, who would not have been allowed to play at this year’s Wimbledon had she not switched allegiance from Russia four years ago, finished the contest with an ace – her 15th of the match.
“It is amazing and I am really happy that I got through after a really tough match,” Rybakina said. Explaining a final-set wobble after serving for the match at 5-1, she added: “Maybe, I was nervous. She (Ajla) played really well, was defending really well. I just tried to focus on myself to find my way. And then, I found it.”
Meanwhile, Romanian Halep produced another eye-catching performance to surge into the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Amanda Anisimova. After Halep wrapped up the first set when Anisimova hit a service return long, the American was left rejecting one racquet after another as she was broken for the fourth time to trail 1-4 in the second set.
The 30-year-old Halep was broken while serving for the match at 5-1 and Anisimova had her 0-40 down when the Romanian tried again at 5-3. A few hard-hitting slaps to her thigh at 15-40 down got Halep’s legs moving once again and the 16th seed secured victory when Anisimova swiped a backhand long.
RESULTS:Men’s singles: Quarter-finals: C Garin lost to N Kyrgios 4-6, 3-6, 6-7(5). Women’s singles: Quarter-finals: A Tomljanovic lost to E Rybakina 6-4, 2-6, 3-6; S Halep bt A Anisimova 6-2, 6-4