The World Cup is offering up plenty of drama for global sports fans, but Wimbledon 2014 is doing its best to match it.
19-year-old Nick Kyrgios made all the major headlines on Day 8 by soundly defeating Rafael Nadal 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 to earn a place in the quarter-finals amongst some of tennis' best players.
Kyrgios is 1st teen to defeat World No.1 at a Slam since Nadal achieved the feat when he defeated Federer at 2005 Roland Garros.— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) July 1, 2014
One would think, with all the fanfare around his performance, there wasn't anything else going on in the rest of the tournament, so it should be noted that Day 9 features an incredible slate of tennis. Besides, we will get back to Kyrgios later.
Simona Halep faced a tough opponent in grass-court specialist Sabine Lisicki, but emerged victorious. With the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova eliminated from the tournament, this is a brilliant opportunity for the 22-year-old Romanian to win her first Grand Slam title.
In the men's draw, No. 4 Roger Federer takes on No. 5 Stan Wawrinka in a battle of Switzerland's top two tennis players. Local favorite Andy Murray fell to a tough, fearless competitor in Grigor Dimitrov on Day 9 as well.
There are three more fantastic matches on the schedule, and we don't want you to miss a second of them.
Here is the TV information, match schedule, live stream info and predictions for all the top tennis to take place on Day 9.
|July 2||8 a.m. - 3 p.m.||ESPN|
|July 2||8 a.m. - 4 p.m.||ESPN 2|
|Ladies||Quarter-finals||Centre||(3) Simona Halep vs. (19) Sabine Lisicki||Halep in two|
|Gentlemen||Quarter-finals||Centre||(3) Andy Murray vs. (11) Grigor Dimitrov||Dimitrov in Three|
|Gentlemen||Quarter-finals||Centre||(5) Stan Wawrinka vs. (4) Roger Federer||In Progress|
|Ladies||Quarter-finals||No. 1||(13) Eugenie Bouchard vs. (9) Angelique Kerber||Bouchard in two|
|Gentlemen||Quarter-finals||No. 1||(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (26) Marin Cilic||Djokovic in Four|
|Gentlemen||Quarter-finals||No. 1||(8) Milos Raonic vs. Nick Kyrgios||Kyrgios in five (Prediction)|
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com
Top Match to Watch: Nick Kyrgios vs. Milos Raonic
Yes, Novak Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Halep are all playing on Day 9. They will be in quarter-finals matches tomorrow, as usual. They will be in the late rounds of the next tournament and the next one after that. Their abilities are well known, very appreciated and very much a given.
Kyrgios versus Milos Raonic offers something far more rare and novel. It is the chance to see a young phenom force his way into the collective tennis consciousness for the first time. This is too fleeting and fragile a moment to pass up.
The young Australian burst onto the scene at the All England Club with a second-round victory over Richard Gasquet. The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg summed up that performance:
Wild card Aussie teen Nick Kyrgios beats No13 Richard Gasquet 10-8 in the fifth after saving NINE match points. An epic arrival. #Wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 26, 2014
Beating a No. 13 is a wonderful feat for a teenager, but the best was yet to come. Kyrgios used a strong, flat backhand and some excellent range to upset Nadal. He also pulled off one of the finest shots you'll ever see in a match of this caliber:
Look what Kyrgios just did. http://t.co/qfYaiatsNc— Alan White (@aljwhite) July 1, 2014
Kyrgios couldn't really have expected to make it this far into the tournament, despite how confident he seems at times. After the Nadal match he said, "It still hasn’t hit me what I’ve done," as per The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell and Tim Lewis.
This opens up a window of opportunity for Raonic.
The Canadian—of Montenegrin descent—soundly defeated Kei Nishikori in the fourth round to set up this unlikely matchup. Kyrgios could very well be emotionally and physically drained after his instantly famous win, which opens the door for a strong, hard-hitting player like Raonic.
Raonic will have to use his powerful, booming serve to score easy points against Kyrgios, which could be difficult as the young Australian has plenty of height and range. Kyrgios will look to force his opponent to defend and use the whole court, as the heavy-legged Raonic isn't very agile—although he is improving in this regard.
How far will Kyrgios go in Wimbledon 2014?
Raonic should be confident having played some of his best tennis heading into Wimbledon. He made it to the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome before losing in three sets to Djokovic and again lost to the superb Serbian in the quarter-finals of the French Open.
If Kyrgios can fend off Raonic, it sets up a match with the winner of the Wawrinka-Federer match. This would surely draw the attention of even the most casual tennis fans. Everyone wants to witness the birth of a star; someday the world of tennis may revolve around Kyrgios.