July 7, 2022
Nick Kyrgios knows he is the greatest box-office phenomenon of modern tennis times.
And yesterday he set up a dream semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios in the last four of Wimbledon 2022! How exciting is that?
And he can’t wait to face Nadal because he knows it will be a global must-watch event.
Kyrgios said: ‘I feel like that will be a mouth-watering encounter for everyone around the world.
‘That would probably be the most-watched match of all time.’
Kyrgios defeated Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in an encounter that wasn’t always as straightforward as it sounded.
And most observers would argue that Nadal is psychologically stronger than his younger and more controversial adversary.
But Kyrgios is currently in better physical shape and threatening to win a Grand Slam for the first time.
Can Nick Kyrgios rock tennis by winning Wimbledon 2022?
He has always loved Wimbledon and this is his big chance to taste the glory Nadal has already earned twice.
Nick added: ‘We’ve had some absolute battles on that Centre Court. He has won one against me and I have won one against him.
‘We are two completely different personalities but we respect the hell out of each other.’
It might be more accurate to say that these arch-rivals respect each other’s tennis talent.
Nadal has criticised Kyrgios for his behaviour in the past. And the Australian has claimed that Rafa isn’t always above gamesmanship either.
But that’s the thing about Nick. He doesn’t hold the Big Three in awe and isn’t debilitated by reputations.
The fiery superstar has beaten all the greats and knows he can do so again.
And Kyrgios is well aware that Nadal will come into this fresh battle already slightly wounded.
The legendary Spaniard wasn’t just drained by his five-set classic against popular American Taylor Fritz.
He also suffered abdominal pain and had to adjust his service action slightly to come through.
Nadal still bounced back to win 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4). Rafa must have known he had all but made it when he took a 5-0 lead in the decisive super-breaker.
The fans went wild when he closed out to book his place in the last four.
But now Nadal faces a race against time to be ready for the semi-final. ‘I am worried and I need to check everything the proper way,’ he said of his worsening abdominal problem.
If Nadal can’t fight his way through to the showpiece, the tennis world will have an extraordinary consolation.
Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon 2022 final. What a prospect!
And whatever happens in the Kyrgios v Nadal showdown, there is another fascinating semi-final to enjoy on Friday.
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic against British hero Cameron Norrie. The atmosphere will be electric on Friday.
And the most likely scenario is a Kyrgios v Djokovic final on Sunday.
They too have had their moments of tension. Kyrgios has mocked the Serb many times and Djokovic will be keen to get the better of the Aussie when it matters.
Will you be at Wimbledon 2022 for the biggest matches of them all?