LONDON — Give Nick Kyrgios credit for honesty: Even he did not think this day ever would arrive. The talented, tempestuous Australian is a semifinalist at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios became the first unseeded and lowest-ranked man to get to the final four at the All England Club since 2008 by playing what, for him, amounts to a restrained and efficient brand of tennis in a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Cristian Garin at No. 1 Court on Wednesday.
“I thought my ship had sailed,” the 27-year-old said. “Obviously, I didn’t go about things great early in my career and may have wasted that little window. But just really proud of the way I’ve just come back out here.”
Kyrgios, who is ranked 40th, has garnered more attention for his behavior on and off the court than his skills with a racket in hand. His match against the unseeded Garin, a 26-year-old from Chile, came a day after police in Canberra, Australia, said that Kyrgios is due in court next month to face an allegation of common assault stemming from something that happened in December.
After his first-round victory at Wimbledon last week, Kyrgios was fined $10,000 for spitting in the direction of a heckling spectator. His third-round victory over No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was as contentious as can be, and Kyrgios was fined another $4,000 for an audible obscenity; afterward, Tsitsipas called him a “bully” and “evil.”
Worth noting, too, is how well Kyrgios has been playing. His serve, in particular, is among the best in the game, regularly topping 130 mph, and he pounded 17 aces against Garin while getting broken just once — in the very first game, at love.
His big forehands are terrific, too, but little else is conventional about Kyrgios.
“I don’t have a coach,” Kyrgios said with a smile during his post-match interview. “I would never put that burden on someone.”
In Friday’s semifinals, Kyrgios will face either No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal or No. 11 Taylor Fritz, who were playing each other at Centre Court on Wednesday. The other semifinal will be No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 9 Cam Norrie.