Australia hails new golden boy Nick Kyrgios
Astonishing. Remarkable. Extraordinary. Media gushes over 'good bloke' who slayed Rafael Nadal
Sports-mad Australia hailed Wimbledon sensation Nick Kyrgios as its new hero on Wednesday, lavishing praise on “a good bloke” who has the game to beat the best.
Kyrgios, just 19 and ranked 144 in the world, stunned world number one Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in one of the biggest upsets the tournament has ever seen.
His improbable victory set up a quarter-final against huge-serving Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic, sending the Australian media wild.
“Astonishing. Remarkable. Extraordinary. Insert your own superlative,” gushed the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Game and confidence-wise, Kyrgios has it all.”
The lanky Kyrgios, who gave up a promising career in basketball to focus on tennis, become the first wildcard in 10 years to make the last eight at the All England Club.
He is also the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world number one since Andrei Olhovskiy stunned Jim Courier in the Wimbledon third round in 1992
“Australia, we have a new hero,” said the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
“In a performance that reverberated from the heart of the All England Club across the world, the 19-year-old from Canberra has pulled off one of the greatest upsets in tennis history.”
Australia has been desperate to find a new tennis star with veteran Lleyton Hewitt having potentially played his last Wimbledon and Bernard Tomic widely seen as arrogant and not well liked.
“One doesn’t want to gush unseemingly, but this bloke is the goods,” said Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons, referring to him as “Our Nick”.
“And no yellow Ferraris in sight!” he added in reference to Tomic.
“Though Australian tennis has laboured long, she has at last given birth to the first player since Pat Rafter that we won’t have to learn to love, but can love from the first.”
Even Prime Minister Tony Abbott was impressed.
“Extraordinary performance NickKyrgios. Australia couldn’t be prouder of you – what a win & what an amazing attitude!” he tweeted.
Hollywood also took notice with Australian star Hugh Jackman following his progress.
“Aussie Aussie Aussie NickKyrgios. Such composure and class!” he tweeted.
The Canberra-based Kyrgios, whose father is a Greek-Australian and his mother a Malaysian-Australian, first picked up a racquet aged four and has never looked back.
“I’ve never been so shocked and overwhelmed at the same time,” his younger sister Halimah, who was in the crowd, said after the game.
“I actually cried, burst into tears and I’ve never felt so happy for someone my entire life.”
Kyrgios said he was fired up by an interview his mum Norlaila gave to Australian television before the match saying she believed Nadal was too good for him.
“Slowly sinking in. What an unreal day ... Massive team effort,” he tweeted.
Born on April 27, 1995, in Canberra.
Son of a Greek father, Giorgos, and a Malaysian mother, Norlaila.
Promising basketball player growing up but choose to focus solely on tennis when he was 14 years old.
Won the Australian Open boys’ singles title in 2013.
Accomplished doubles player and won back-to-back Wimbledon boys’ doubles in 2012 and 2013, as well as the 2012 Roland Garros doubles title.
Turned professional in 2013.
Highest-ranked teenager on the men’s professional circuit at 144th.
Coached by Tennis Australian national coach Simon Rea.
Wildcard entry in this year’s Wimbledon and youngest player in the draw.
First player to reach the quarter-finals on their debut since Florian Mayer in 2004.
Youngest player to reach the quarter-finals since compatriot Bernard Tomic, aged 18, reached the last eight in 2011.
The nine match points he saved during his second round 3-6, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8 win over ninth seed Richard Gasquet is the joint-highest amount saved by a winner in a grand slam match in the professional era.
Victory over Gasquet was his first tour-level win over an opponent in the world’s top 50.
First player born in the 1990s to beat Rafa Nadal and is the first teenager to beat the world number one at a grand slam since Nadal beat Federer at the 2005 French Open.