All eyes were on Nick Kyrgios’ press conference after his Wimbledon quarter-final breakthrough against Cristian Garin.
Dressed all in white, Nick Kyrgios was all business when he defeated Cristian Garin to earn a spot in his first semifinal of a grand slam.
After a minor controversy over his rejection of the tournament’s strict dress code in his fourth round match – where he wore a pair of red shoes and a red cap before and after the clash – Kyrgios played by the rules this time.
He entered Court 1 in the appropriate attire and was the man for the occasion in a 6-4 6-3 7-6 victory that turned a semi-final against Rafael Nadal on Friday night after the The epic victory of the Spanish legend against Taylor Fritz†
“I never thought I would be in a grand slam semi-final,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “I thought my ship had sailed. Obviously things didn’t always go well early in my career and maybe I wasted that little window… but I’m really proud of the way I came back.”
Kyrgios, who rose to fame when he defeated Nadal as a 144th wildcard eight years ago, is the first Australian man to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
It was Kyrgios’ first game since the unveiling he is accused of assault in his native Canberra in connection with an incident with an ex-girlfriend in Dec 2021.
The 27-year-old was asked about the allegations after the game.
“I have a lot of thoughts and things I want to say, my side of it,” Kyrgios said. “But I’ve been advised by my lawyers that I can’t say anything about it at the moment.”
When asked how the publication of the allegations had affected him, he replied: “It didn’t really affect me at all, to be honest. Obviously I see… I’m only human. Of course I read about it and everyone asked questions. It was hard to focus on the mission (which) was the Wimbledon quarter-finals. I know deep down that I was prepared for it(and) that it didn’t affect my preparation at all. I knew I would stay true to myself and put in my best performance today.”
After these initial comments, Kyrgios engaged in another back-and-forth with a reporter who wanted more answers.
Reporter: Sorry to bring this issue up again. What do you think about the timing of receiving the subpoena during Wimbledon? And will you go to court as ordered?
Kyrgios: Listen, I understand you want me to give you the answers, but I can’t talk about it anymore.
Reporter: Did you know that before Wimbledon started? Or did you learn yesterday like the rest of us?
Kyrgios: I’m… do you want me to sound like a broken record?
Reporter: I’d like an answer, if you can.
Kyrgios: I can’t.
A moderator then intervened to remind reporter Kyrgios, who had already said he had been advised not to discuss the matter.
Previously, Garin made sure the focus was solely on the tennis as he won the first eight points of the match to take an early break and a 2-0 lead.
But it wasn’t long before the Aussie star made his way and he broke back to even the game at 3-3.
Kyrgios showed signs of frustration after leading 0-30 in the eighth game and had to fight from a 15-40 hole to hold on to serve and move forward 5-4.
But he broke Garin to love in the next game to take the first set 6-4.
Before this tournament, the Chilean played two matches on grass in 2022 and lost both.
Garin’s lack of expertise on Kyrgios’ best ground began to show when his drop shot attempts backfired and he fell behind 3-1 in the second set.
Kyrgios wasn’t quite strong on serve, but Garin couldn’t break as he was two sets behind love, 6-4 6-3.
The Chilean continued to fight in the third set, perhaps spurred on by memories of the fourth win against Alex de Minaur, where he fought back from two sets behind.
He didn’t go through a single break point in the third set, but every time he came through on the Kyrgios service, he got aces as the set progressed to a tiebreak.
Kyrgios stole the advantage with a stunning dropshot winner before returning the minibreak with a double fault.
Garin took four consecutive runs to turn a 1-3 deficit into a 5-3 lead. But Kyrgios turned the tide with a monstrous forehand return before coming to the net to win the next two points and go back 6-5.
There was time for one last moment of suspense when a linesman erroneously called a Kyrgios shot and was overruled, but after a brief outburst, the Aussie held up his nerve to secure the breaker 7-5.
After the match, Garin stated that Kyrgios could win the tournament.
“Of course. He’s in the semi-finals,” said Garin. “The way he served today – I played all the great servers in the tour – for me he has the best service on tour. He has a good chance of winning the tournament.”
Kyrgios put on a show of unity with his new partner Costeen Hatzi during his morning practice at Wimbledon on Wednesday, holding hands as he made his way to a practice field and sharing kisses.
Originally published as Nick Kyrgios goes back and forth with reporter over assault charge after Wimbledon win