Nick Kyrgios is into a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in his career, where he will face second-seeded Rafael Nadal for a shot at the 2022 Wimbledon men's singles final.
The other men's semifinal will feature top-seeded Novak Djokovic and No. 9 seed Cameron Norrie, who, like Kyrgios, has never been in the final four at a major before.
Both men's semifinal matches will be played on Friday, July 8, at the All England Club in London. Coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN. Live streaming is available on ESPN+ or ESPN.com with a cable subscription.
Kyrgios was playing solid tennis in the buildup to Wimbledon, but few could've expected him to make it this far in the tournament. The 27-year-old Australian is undeniably talented, but he's more often made headlines for his controversial behavior and has lacked focus and commitment throughout his career.
So far, Kyrgios has managed to hold it all together and string together five wins at Wimbledon. After taking down Paul Jubb and Filip Krajinovic in the first two rounds, Kyrgios ran into No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third. The pair dueled through four contentious sets, with Kyrgios at one point threatening to stop play after Tsitsipas received just a warning for hitting a ball into the crowd—Kyrgios argued Tststipas should have been defaulted.
Kyrgios managed to hold on to win in four sets against Tsitsipas and then needed five to beat 20-year-old American Brandon Nakashima in the next round, with his right shoulder apparently bothering him. The quarterfinal was relatively uneventful for Kyrgios, as he beat Cristian Garin in straight sets.
"I thought my ship had sailed,'' the 27-year-old said about reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal, per the Associated Press. "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.''
The quarterfinal came one day after it was announced Kyrgios has to return to Australia next month to face an allegation of assaulting an ex-girlfriend, per the Guardian's Caitlin Cassidy and Emine Sinmaz.
Kyrgios will now face Nadal in the semifinal. It's a rematch of the 2014 Wimbledon epic that saw a young Kyrgios upset a then-world No. 1 Nadal in the round of 16.
Nadal, 36, has somehow remained just as potent of a force in the ensuing eight years. He is halfway to a calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French Opens this year.
With a procedure helping ease the pain in his ailing left foot, Nadal has continued his brilliant form in London. He stomped through the first four rounds, sweeping Lorenzo Sonego and Botic van de Zandschulp and dropping just a set each to Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis.
The quarterfinal was a much tougher match, as Nadal needed to win a fifth-set tiebreaker to finally dispatch Taylor Fritz of the United States after more than four hours of play. Nadal needed a medical timeout in the second set, admitting after the match he at times doubted his ability to finish.
"For a lot of moments I was thinking maybe I will not be able to finish the match"<br><br>The mentality of a champion who never quits<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CentreCourt100?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CentreCourt100</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RafaelNadal</a> <a href="https://t.co/PEKGN1R9fU">pic.twitter.com/PEKGN1R9fU</a>
Nadal, who is now 19-0 in Grand Slam matches this year, has until Friday afternoon to rest up for Kyrgios. If the Spaniard can prevail, he will be one match away from winning Wimbledon for the third time and will then set his sights on the U.S. Open to complete a sweep of the majors.
If Nadal is to make history, there's a decent chance he'll have to beat a longtime nemesis in the final. Djokovic is looking to win his fourth straight Wimbledon championship and seventh overall. Like Nadal, Djokovic mostly cruised through the first four rounds of the tournament before facing adversity in the quarterfinal.
For Djokovic, that challenge came in the form of 20-year-old Jannik Sinner, who boasts a heavy serve and a booming forehand. Sinner managed to win the first two sets against Djokovic, looking primed for the biggest win of his young career. As it turns out, he'll have to wait to reach a Grand Slam semifinal, as Djokovic stormed back to win the match 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The Serbian took a bathroom break ahead of the third set, giving himself time to re-gain focus and turn the match around.
“It was just a pep talk, positive talk,” he said, per Wimbledon.com's Alix Ramsay. “As negative and down you feel on yourself in those moments, even though as fake as it looks or sounds to you, it really gives you an effect and support if you are trying to find the right and positive affirmations and tell it to yourself and kind of reanimate yourself in a way."
Djokovic is a master at overcoming difficult situations and will benefit in the semifinal from all that prior experience.
Norrie is on a dream run in London. Prior to this tournament, the 26-year-old hadn't ever made it past the third round in a Grand Slam. He's looked excellent in setting a career-best mark, beating unseeded Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 in the third round. Next up was No. 30 Tommy Paul, who Norrie also beat in straight sets.
In the quarterfinal, Norrie had to navigate past 31-year-old tour veteran David Goffin. Norrie had his difficulties, falling behind two sets to one, but managed to persevere and win the match in five sets.
José Morgado @josemorgado
What a momento for 26yo Cameron Norrie, who comes back to beat David Goffin 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 and reach the semifinals at Wimbledon. His first Grand Slam semifinals.<br><br>UK back into the last 4 at Wimbledon in singles for the first time since Murray's 2016 title. <a href="https://t.co/6rpiMHn5im">pic.twitter.com/6rpiMHn5im</a>
Norrie, who represents Great Britain, will certainly have the crowd on his side as he takes on Djokovic in the semifinal. He will need to have the right mentality and his game in top shape to beat one of the best to ever play the sport.