Nick Kyrgios, after beating Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Wimbledon 2022 quarter-final, became the lowest ranked and first unseeded men’s semifinalist since 2008. He will take on 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal for a place in the final. 

Kyrgios is currently ranked 40th. The 27-year-old is currently facing sexual assault allegations. He was fined US$4,000 (AU$5,862) for his audible obscenity following a code violation during the Round of 16 game vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, which he won 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7). The spotlight is on him and the Aussie will now face two-time Wimbledon winner Nadal in the semis. 

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He admitted that it is difficult to focus on the game with the sexual assault allegation. 

 “I’m only human. Obviously I read about it and obviously everyone else was asking questions. It was hard. It was hard to kind of just focus on the mission at hand,” Kyrgios told the reporters after his quarterfinal win. 

The semis is going to be a much bigger game. Nadal, who suffered an abdominal issues in his quarterfinal game vs Taylor Fritz, will undergo tests on Thursday. If he plays, the Spaniard surely starts as the favourite. 

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Rafa leads Kyrgios 6-3 head-to-head. They are 1-all at Wimbledon. In 2014, Kyrgios, then just 19 and ranked 144th, announced himself to the world by winning; in 2019, Nadal took the rematch after Kyrgios was at a local pub into the wee hours the night before.

“I feel like that would be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world. That would probably be the most-watched match of all time,” Kyrgios said. 

He admitted that he ‘ thought my ship had sailed’. 

“Obviously, I didn’t go about things great early in my career and may have wasted that little window.”

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Worth noting, too, is how well Kyrgios has been playing. His serve, in particular, is among the best in the game, regularly topping 130 mph, and he pounded 17 aces against Garin while getting broken just once — in the very first game, at love.

His big forehands are terrific, too, but little else is conventional about Kyrgios. One example: “I don’t have a coach,” Kyrgios said with a smile. “I would never put that burden on someone.”