It is safe to say that Nick Kyrgios isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

His antics through this year’s Wimbledon have created uproar, and divided opinion like no other tennis player in recent memory, as his overtly aggressive, often abusive behaviour towards fans, opponents and umpires alike is sharply juxtaposed with a terrific, explosive game that he has brought to Wimbledon 2022. 

The unseeded Aussie has fought, clawed, and heckled his way through the tournament channelising all that anger festering inside him in the right direction at the right time to reach the semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time in his career. A first semi-final got automatically elevated to a first final for Kyrgios after Rafael Nadal announced his decision to bow out of the tournament due to injury today.

However, the Aussie fell short of winning his first Grand Slam title. He lost to Novak Djokovic  4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3). 

Also read: Kyrgios wishes Nadal ‘quick recovery’ after Spaniard withdraws from Wimbledon

And so, everyone’s cup of tea he may not be, and yet all eyes will be on him on the big day at Centre Court this Sunday. 

Let’s take a look at how he has gotten there:

First round: Paul Jubb (GBR)

Score: 6-3, 1-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7

The 40th seed was made to slog it out against the British wildcard in a 5 set thriller packed with action and Kyrgios’ infamous antics. 

Jubb shocked the watching crowd by breaking Kyrgios in the 8th game and winning the first set, but Kyrgios came back fighting, dropping just 1 game in the second set before taking a hard fought 2-1 lead in the third. 

The 4th set was once again evenly contested with neither able to break serve. That took the set to a tie-breaker which Jubb nicked, after winning four points in a row to take it to a 5th set. The decider proved to be a pulsating battle as Kyrgios broke Jubb in the 6th game but Jubb almost instantly replied in kind, to level things up at 5-5.  Kyrgios then won his service game after saving 3 crucial break points before clinching the set 7-5. 

Also read: Rude boy tennis: Nick Kyrgios accused of cheating, manipulation and abuse

Second round: Filip Krajinovic (SER)

Score: 2-6, 3-6, 1-6

Kyrgios was completely in his stride in this one, gone was the anger and lashing out at all and sundry, as things went fairly smoothly for him from start to finish. He smashed 24 aces and 50 winners, conceding just 9 points on his own serve to throttle the Serbian and wrap up proceedings within 85 minutes. 

Third round: Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

Score: 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)

This 3rd round tie quickly drifted into acrimony as all the dark arts in Kyrgios’ arsenal were on full display in a foul-tempered and feisty 3 hours and 16 minutes war against 4th seed Tsitsipas. 

The Greek looked to be in reasonable control of proceedings at the start of the match, and perhaps that is what triggered Kyrgios into foul-mouthed rant after rant, largely at the chair umpire for what he considered questionable and incompetent calls. “Are you dumb?”, asked the Aussie to the Wimbledon umpire at one point, one can only hope with genuine concern! 

Tsitsipas may have won the set, but the negative energy unleashed by Kyrgios seemed to affect the Greek as well, as his own behaviour took a turn for the worse and his game began to falter. He appeared to hit a ball towards a spectator and seemed to be aiming some towards Kyrgios as well, as he lost his concentration and gave up the 2nd and 3rd set. The 4th set was a battle that went all the way into a tie-breaker but the broken Greek could not stand against the fierce conviction of the Aussie and failed to take the game into a 5th set decider. 

Also read: Kyrgios a ‘bully,’ Tsitsipas ‘soft’: What the heroes of Wimbledon blockbuster said

Fourth round: Brandon Nakashima (USA)

Score: 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 2-6

Kyrgios nursed a somewhat injured right shoulder as he handed the initiative to 20-year-old Nakashima early, but his strokes and play got better as he found his momentum in this entertaining 3 hours and 10 minutes long match in Centre Court. 

Nakashima found his rhythm early and took the first set with some impressive ball striking and first services. 

However, Kyrgios displayed his entire array of shots as he played with guile to peg Nakashima back and take the 2nd and 3rd set. The young American wasn’t ready to go away so soon though. He raised his game, playing some impressive shots of his own at a Kyrgios who seemed to have lost his concentration somewhat, to win the 4th set 6-3.

But there was no fairy tale comeback in store for the 20-year-old as Kyrgios crushed any hopes early with a break of serve. Nakashima never recovered from there and bowed out after a valiant effort, losing the 5th set 6-2, while Kyrgios extended his 5-set win record at Wimbledon to an impressive 6-0!

Also read: How much money is Nick Kyrgios losing in fines and where does it go?

Quarter-final: Cristian Garin (CHI)

Score: 4-6, 3-6, 6-7 (5-7)

27-year-old Kyrgios made his return to the quarter-finals of a grand slam after 8 long years and played a fairly quiet and effective game- gone was the sharp tongue and the anger, and in its place appeared a steely determination to make his first-ever semi-final, and become the first Aussie in 17 years to do so in the process.

Garin actually got off to a fairytale start winning the first 9 points and breaking Kyrgios early. But these heights were never scaled again, as Kyrgios soon took control and wrapped up the game in straight sets. His service was strong once again keeping him ahead of Garin whenever the Chilean appeared primed to make inroads.

Semi-final: Rafael Nadal

Score: NA 

Rafael Nadal was forced to announce his retirement from the tournament after a stomach tear he had suffered in his quarter-final game refused to go away, thus robbing fans of an exciting semi-final between an all-time great and a mercurial talent finally finding his best form.