Nick Kyrgios doesn’t take anything for granted but feels supremely powerful and says it’s too early to look ahead to an all-Australian Wimbledon quarter-final with Alex de Minaur.
Most important points:
- Australia hopes to have four players in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 1974
- Nick Kyrgios and Alex De Minaur would meet in a QF if they both win their matches tonight
- Ajla Tomljanovic and Jason Kubler face tough fourth round opposition but ride on waves of momentum
That is the tantalizing reality, however, as Kyrgios and de Minaur go into their respective fourth round matches on Monday as hot favorites to advance to the last eight.
For the fourth time in the second week, Kyrgios – who was fined nearly $6,000 for an audible obscenity during his third round – gets his first center court date this year, playing US No. 56 Brandon Nakashima and confidently after ousting Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas with another ominous serving display.
Kyrgios, a quarter-finalist in 2014, didn’t drop service once in Saturday’s frenetic affair, keeping his cool when it mattered most to save all five break points he got.
Nakashima is enjoying a breakthrough in a grand slam run, but really Kyrgios would probably have to beat himself not to triumph, which the flammable Canberran is more than capable of, of course.
While aware that De Minaur is lurking just a lap away, Kyrgios is wary of his more direct American challenger.
“We both have a tough game ahead of us,” Kyrgios said ahead of his first meeting with 20-year-old Nakashima and his first appearance of the 2022 championships on center court.
“Nakashima won [his third-round match] easily in straight sets. To do that at Wimbledon on grass is not easy. He clearly plays well. I don’t overlook that.”
But when asked if he believed he could win the title, Kyrgios said tellingly: “Yes, I feel good.
“Lap by lap, if I keep doing my things I feel good. I’m fine.”
De Minaur also plays an unseeded opponent in world number 43 Cristian Garin and has yet to drop a set in three clashes with the Chilean, the most recent two weeks ago on grass in Eastbourne.
“Look, I try to take it day by day,” said Australia’s 19th seed.
“Hopefully I can play a good game again and just worry about my side of the field, do the right things. We’ll see what happens.”
Australia braces for historic night at SW19
With spirited qualifier Jason Kubler also through and Ajla Tomljanovic still in women’s singles, Australia has four players in the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1999.
“It’s great,” Minaur said.
“I’ve had a lot to do with ‘Kygs’ over the years, be it the Davis Cup or the ATP Cup. He’s always been there. But to see Kubler do what he does is just special.”
Kubler continues his fairytale campaign against 11th American Taylor Fritz, while Tomljanovic takes on Alize Cornet, the Frenchwoman who sensationally defeated world number one Iga Swiatek in the third round.
Kubler will be chasing a 20th win out of 22 games, a gold streak that started for the French Open, while Tomljanovic’s only loss in her last eight Wimbledon appearances came against Ash Barty in last year’s quarter-finals.
“I’m the type of person, like I have to constantly prove myself,” said Tomljanovic.
“I’ve realized that sometimes that’s a bit unfair, because I should be my own biggest supporter. Whoever wants to doubt me can doubt me, I’m not.
“But I feel like sometimes I haven’t given myself the credit I deserve. I’m sometimes mad at myself that it’s taking me a little longer to be, ‘Okay, I can do this, even if I’m not posted or something, I can still run.”
“I always have a little bit of a cautious approach, like, ‘Okay, I’m going to do my best, but we’ll see how it goes’.
“I’ve just learned to be a little bit more like, I can do this, I’m here to win. It’s just nice that it really shows.”
If all four hopefuls happen to win, as they did on Saturday, Australia will have four Wimbledon quarter-finalists for the first time since the rest days of 1974, when Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Evonne Goolagong and Kerry Melville all finished in last place. eight.
Since Wendy Turnbull, Peter McNamara, Mark Edmondson and Kim Warwick progressed at the 1981 Australian Open, Australia has had four quarter-finalists in a grand slam.
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