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Tumultuous Tuesday: Sharapova, Nadal Shocked on Day 8

Nick Kyrgios leaps into the air after his Fourth round victory on Centre Court
by Nicholas McCarvel
Tuesday 1 July 2014

It was one of those Wimbledon days that started clear and calm at the All England Club and ended up in complete disarray. Title contenders Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal were beaten back-to-back on Centre Court, their upsets unexpected and sending the respective draws into complete disarray. Below, a rundown of the day’s enthralling events.

Match of the Day: [WC] Nick Kyrgios d [2] Rafael Nadal 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3
It was the shock that no one saw coming. A 19-year-old wild card, Kyrgios had made headlines for saving nine match points in a second-round win over Richard Gasquet last week, but this was Centre Court. This was Rafael Nadal.

Kyrgios played with no fear against the world No.1, blasting groundstrokes with gusto and taking his chances in the first-set tie-break, stepping out to a one-set lead. Nadal, however, had lost the first set of his first three matches here, and was expected to make a steady comeback.

He did none of that on this day, however, Kyrgios continuing to come at him relentlessly and finishing the match with a bang, ace-ing Nadal for the biggest win of his career.

Honorary Match of the Day: [4] Roger Federer d [23] Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Not for the spectacular nature of this match, but more for the way Federer himself has been spectacular throughout this tournament, not dropping a set and never being broken en route to the quarter-finals. Federer gets countryman Stan Wawrinka in the last eight, Roger owning a 13-2 head-to-head edge, though Wawrinka won their last meeting in the Monte Carlo Masters final in April.

Upset of the Day: [9] Angelique Kerber d [5] Maria Sharapova 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4
With Serena Williams and Li Na out of the singles draw, all eyes were on Sharapova as the odds-on favourite to win the title. But the German Kerber squashed any possibility of that on Tuesday, battling from the backcourt with endless consistency and power.

Down 5-2 in the third set, Sharapova, the 2004 winner here, looked as though she might rally, pulling the score to 4-5 and saving six match points. But Kerber won an especially long point when the Russian netted an easy forehand and then the No.9 seed, a semi-finalist here in 2012,missed a backhand long.

The loss means that Sharapova continues her search for a second Wimbledon, now over a decade old. Kerber, meanwhile, moves into the quarter-finals against No.13 seed Genie Bouchard.

Also: Wawrinka’s win was over Feliciano Lopez, and included some drama. A finalist here a year ago, Sabine Lisicki continued her march back to the last two with a three-set win over Yaroslava Shvedova. Lisicki will meet No.3 Simona Halep, the highest seed remaining in the quarter-finals. The Romanian beat Zarina Diyas in straights. Meanwhile, Milos Raonic made Canada Day that much more special for folks back home, the No.8 seed holding off Kei Nishikori in four sets. And, in the two women’s quarter-finals contested, Lucie Safarova beat Ekaterina Makarova to set up an all-Czech semi-final against Petra Kvitova, who withstood a second-set rally by another Czech, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Photo of the Day: Jump for joy (above)! Sometimes a photo just leaves you speechless, doesn’t it?

Tweet of the Day: Federer gets nervous over sporting events – just like us! The seven-time Wimbledon champion breezed through his fourth-round match against Robredo in the early afternoon on Tuesday, just in time to head home and watch the Switzerland-Argentina World Cup match. Any guess who Rog was cheering for?

 

Stat of the Day: There were plenty of them. The first set of the Wawrinka-Lopez saw the 100th tie-break of the men’s tournament at The Championships this year, marking the first time in history that the number of tie-breaks at a Grand Slam has reached triple figures in either the men’s or the women’s event.

For Kyrgios, he becomes the first teenager to defeat a world No.1 at a Grand Slam since Nadal achieved the feat when he defeated Federer at Roland Garros in 2005, aged 19 years 2 days. Kyrgios is also the lowest-ranked player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since No.158 Tomic, his fellow Australian, in 2011. Kyrgios is the first player ranked outside the Top 100 to defeat a world No.1 at a Grand Slam since No.193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the third round at Wimbledon in 1992.

And: Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal since No.690 Joachim Johansson at Stockholm in 2006. Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked player Nadal has lost to at a Grand Slam.

'Did you just see?' of the Day: Serena Williams walked onto No.1 Court on Tuesday appearing ready for her second-round doubles match alongside sister Venus, but certainly was not. The No.1 player in the world began her warm-up with stumbles and mis-hits, unable to catch balls thrown to her from the ball kids in the backcourt. After sitting down and being consulted by the tournament doctor for a matter of minutes, Williams began play, eventually serving at 0-2 down. It was then that she woefully double-faulted four times in a row, her serves hitting the bottom of the net. She and Venus retired for the match, and it was later confirmed that Williams had a viral illness after being dizzy and visibly out of sorts.

 

There was also some controversy in the Lisicki-Shvedova match when the German took a medical timeout at break point down in the third game of the deciding set. Lisicki said later that she had played through pain for several points, but was criticised for not waiting for a game break to take the three-minute medical timeout.

Quote of the Day: Yes, more from Kyrgios: “There were so many emotions I didn’t know what to do. I turned to everyone who has supported me my whole life, everyone who has sacrificed so much to get me to where I am now.”

Video of the Day: OK, last Kyrgios bit – but this might be the best. The teen hit what may be the shot of the year with this between-the-legs “tweener” winner against Nadal.

 


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