Wimbledon: Rod Laver leads Aussie praise for Kyrgios
LONDON — Australian legend Rod Laver hailed Wimbledon sensation Nick Kyrgios for having no weaknesses after the teenager sent world number one Rafael Nadal crashing at the All England Club.
The 19-year-old Kyrgios, ranked 144 in the world and making his Wimbledon debut, clinched a 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 victory to become the first wildcard in 10 years to make the quarterfinals.
He was also the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world number one at the majors since Andrei Olhovskiy stunned Jim Courier in the Wimbledon third round in 1992.
“I was amazed. I saw him at Melbourne this year and he was bombing away and not everything was going in,” said four-time Wimbledon winner Laver.
“But to see him play without pressure against Nadal and being on Center Court, he didn’t have any nerves. He was confident in his ability in the way he hit his ground strokes and in his serving.
“He doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses.”
Fellow Australian legends, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall were also impressed and hoped that Kyrgios’s success would spark a wave of enthusiasm amongst other Australian youngsters.
“He got better with every set against Nadal. He was getting 93 per cent of his first serves in during the fourth set. It’s incredible for a 19-year-old kid,” said three-time Wimbledon winner Newcombe.
Rosewall praised the teenager’s composure.
“I played on Centre Court as a 17-year-old kid in 1952 and it was intimidating for me. For Nick, it was amazing.
“It’s great for Australian tennis and hopefully it will encourage others to work harder.”
Nadal ousted in 4th round by 144th-ranked Kyrgios
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