Nick Kyrgios reaches 1st Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON – Grant Nick Kyrgios credit for honesty: even he never thought this day would come. The talented, rambunctious Australian is a semi-finalist at Wimbledon

Kyrgios became the first unseeded and lowest ranked man to make it to the last four in the All England Club since 2008 by playing what, for him, amounts to an understated and efficient kind of tennis in a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Cristian Garin at No. 1 Court on Wednesday.

“I thought my ship had sailed,” the 27-year-old said. “Obviously I didn’t do great early in my career and maybe wasted that little window. But I’m just really proud of the way I just got back here.”

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Kyrgios, who is in 40th place, has received more attention for his behavior on and off the court than his skills with a racket in hand. His match against the unseeded Garin, a 26-year-old from Chile, came a day after police in Australia’s Canberra said that Kyrgios to appear in court next month to face a charge of habitual assault as a result of something that happened in December.

After his first round win at Wimbledon last week, Kyrgios was fined $10,000 for spitting at a disruptive spectator. His third round victory over No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was as controversial as it gets, and Kyrgios was fined another $4,000 for an audible obscenity; after that, Tsitsipas called him a “bully” and “evil”.

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It’s also worth noting how well Kyrgios played. Notably, his serve is one of the best in the game, regularly exceeding 130 mph, hitting 17 aces against Garin while only being broken once – in the very first game, out of love.

His big forehands are great too, but otherwise there’s little conventional about Kyrgios. An example: “I don’t have a coach,” Kyrgios said with a smile. “I would never put that burden on anyone.”

In Friday’s semi-finals, Kyrgios will face Rafael Nadal, No. 2, or No. 11 Taylor Fritz, who played each other on Center Court on Wednesday. The other semifinal is no. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 9 Cam Norrie.

The women’s semifinals Thursday will be 2019 champion Simona Halep against No. 17 Elena Rybakina and No. 3 Ons Jabeur against unseeded Tatjana Maria.

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Halep advanced by knocking out number 20 Amanda Anisimova of the United States 6-2, 6-4, and Rybakina came back and defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

More AP Wimbledon coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/wimbledon and https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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