Two-time champion Rafael Nadal was eliminated from Wimbledon after being beaten 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 by Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios.
World No 1 Nadal had no answer for Kyrgios’ booming serve and thunderous groundstrokes, the 19-year-old sending down 37 aces and hitting 70 winners during the course of the fourth round contest.
Kyrgios is ranked 144 in the world but is a former Australian Open junior champion who has already upset Richard Gasquet at the All England Club this year.
Nadal has now suffered shock defeats in each of the last three years at Wimbledon, with the defeat to Kyrgios following reverses against Lukas Rosol and Steve Darcis in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
“I think I was in a bit of a zone out there, I didn’t really notice the crowd that much.”
“I think I was in a bit of a zone out there, I didn’t really notice the crowd that much,” Kyrgios said of his Centre Court experience.
“I played extraordinary tennis. I got that break in the fourth set, served really well throughout the match, and I’m really happy.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. You’ve got to believe that you can win from the outset, and I always do that. He hit some unbelievable shots.”
It was clear from the start that Nadal would struggle to cope with the Australian, who did not lose a point on his first serve until well into the second set.
Krygios took a 6-3 lead in the first-set tie-break and, although he could not convert his first two set points, a big ace wrapped things up at the third time of asking.
Kyrgios produced one of the more extraordinary shots of the tournament so far midway through the second set, casually flicking a winner between his legs after Nadal pinned him on the baseline.
Second seed Nadal had fought back from a set down in each of his three matches at the All England Club so far and started to become more competitive in the second again this time out.
He hustled his way to the second set and shifted the momentum in his favour in the process, breaking Krygios as he was serving to take the match into a second straight tie-break.
But Kyrgios showed a veteran’s composure by hitting back in the third set, stealing a second tie-break to edge ahead again.
When he secured his first service break of the match in the fourth set there would be no way back for Nadal, who was helpless to resist as his opponent served out the match with ease.
In the quarter-finald Kyrgios will face eighth seed Milos Raonic, who blasted 35 aces en route to a 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory over Kei Nishikori.