October 3, 2022

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Nick Kyrgios is through to the Grand Slam semi-finals for the first time in his career, where he will face second-seeded Rafael Nadal for a shot in the 2022 Wimbledon men’s singles final.

The other men’s semi-final will feature top seed Novak Djokovic and No. 9 seed Cameron Norrie, who like Kyrgios has never made the bottom four in a major tournament before.

The semi-finals for both men will be played on Friday July 8 at the All England Club in London. Coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN. The live stream is available on ESPN+ or ESPN.com with a cable subscription.

Preview of the semi-finals

Kyrgios was playing solid tennis in the build-up to Wimbledon, but few could have expected him to make it this far in the tournament. The 27-year-old Australian is undeniably talented, but has more often made headlines for his controversial behavior and lacked focus and commitment throughout his career.

So far, Kyrgios has managed to hold it all together and string together five Wimbledon wins. After beating Paul Jubb and Filip Krajinovic in the first two rounds, Kyrgios met No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third. The pair dueled through four contentious sets, with Kyrgios at one point threatening to stop the game after Tsitsipas only received a warning for kicking a ball into the crowd – Kyrgios maintained that Tststipas should have been abandoned.

Kyrgios held on to win in four sets against Tsitsipas and then needed five to beat 20-year-old American Brandon Nakashima in the next round, his right shoulder apparently bothering him. The quarter-final was relatively uneventful for Kyrgios as he defeated Cristian Garin in straight sets.


Nick Kyrgios goes to #Wimbledon

He reaches the first Grand Slam Semi-final of his career 🎾 pic.twitter.com/8pVUeVZxm5

“I thought my boat had sailed,” the 27-year-old said of his first Grand Slam semi-final, according to the Associated press. “Obviously I didn’t do things very well at the start of my career and maybe I ruined that little window. But I’m really proud of how I’ve just come back here.”

The quarter-final came a day after it was announced Kyrgios was due to return to Australia next month to face an assault allegation against an ex-girlfriend, according to The Guardian’s Caitlin Cassidy and Emine Sinmaz.

Kyrgios will now face Nadal in the semi-finals. It’s a rematch of the 2014 Wimbledon epic which saw a young Kyrgios overthrow then-world No. 1 Nadal in the round of 16.

Nadal, 36, has remained somewhat of such a potent force in the eight years since. He is halfway through a Grand Slam on the calendar after winning the Australian and French Opens this year.

Thanks to a procedure helping to relieve the pain of his ailing left foot, Nadal continued his brilliant form in London. He went through the first four rounds, sweeping Lorenzo Sonego and Botic van de Zandschulp and dropping just one set apiece to Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis.

The quarter-final was a much tougher match, as Nadal needed to win a fifth-set tiebreaker to finally dispatch USA’s Taylor Fritz after more than four hours of play. Nadal needed a medical time-out in the second set, admitting after the match that he sometimes doubted his ability to finish.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

“For many moments I thought maybe I couldn’t finish the game”

The mentality of a champion who never gives up#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 | @Rafael Nadal pic.twitter.com/PEKGN1R9fU

Nadal, who is now 19-0 in Grand Slam matches this year, has until Friday afternoon to rest for Kyrgios. If the Spaniard can prevail, he will be one game away from winning Wimbledon for the third time and then look to the US Open to complete a majors sweep.

If Nadal wants to make history, chances are he’ll have to beat a longtime foe in the final. Djokovic is looking to win his fourth straight Wimbledon championship and seventh overall. Like Nadal, Djokovic mostly sailed through the first four rounds of the tournament before facing adversity in the quarter-finals.

For Djokovic, that challenge came in the form of 20-year-old Jannik Sinner, who boasts a heavy serve and booming forehand. Sinner managed to win the first two sets against Djokovic, looking set for the biggest victory of his young career. Ultimately, he will have to wait to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, as Djokovic stormed back to win the match 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The Serb took a bathroom break before the third set, giving himself time to focus again and turn things around.

“It was just a pep talk, a positive talk,” he said, according to Wimbledon.com Alix Ramsay. “As negative and depressed as you feel in those times, however wrong it feels, it really gives you an effect and support if you try to find the correct and positive affirmations and say it to yourself. and kind of revive you somehow.”

Novak Djokovic @DjokerNolé

Wings activated 🦅🦅🦅 #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/GwddywJIsZ

Djokovic is a master at overcoming difficult situations and will benefit in the semi-finals from all this previous experience.

Norrie is on a dream run to London. Prior to this tournament, the 26-year-old had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam. He looked excellent setting a career-best mark, beating unranked Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 in the third round. Next up was No. 30 Tommy Paul, who Norrie also beat in straight sets.

In the quarter-finals, Norrie had to get past 31-year-old tour veteran David Goffin. Norrie had his struggles, falling behind two sets to one, but managed to persevere and win the match in five sets.

Norrie, who represents Great Britain, will certainly have the crowd on his side as he takes on Djokovic in the semi-finals. He will need to have the right mentality and his game in top form to beat one of the best to ever play the sport.