Nick Kyrgios has defeated Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) to book his place in his maiden major semifinal, where it all began for him - at Wimbledon.
"I thought my ship had sailed," the 27-year-old said in his post-match on-court interview. "Obviously, I didn't go about things great early in my career and may have wasted that little window. But just really proud of the way I've just come back out here."
The win comes eight years after Kyrgios first reached the quarterfinals at The All England Club in 2014 - his first major career breakthrough. But this time he has gone one step further, by reaching the semifinals.
“I never thought I’d be in a Grand Slam semi-final,” he told the No.1 Court crowd. “I thought that ship had sailed – that I might have wasted that window. I didn’t go about things great early on in my career. It’s great to put on a performance here.”
With the win, Kyrgios has become the first unseeded and lowest-ranked man to semifinals at the All England Club since 2008. He has also broken a major drought from an Australian point of view, becoming the first Australian to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, and the first Australian to reach a semifinal at any of the majors since Hewitt at the US Open in that same year.
Following the win, Kyrgios sat in his chair court-side for several moments, appearing almost in disbelief as to what he had just achieved.
"There was a point where I was almost done with this sport," Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference.
"I'm sitting there today after the match and to be a semifinalist at Wimbledon, it's a special accomplishment for anyone, but I think especially for me.
"If you asked anyone if I was able to do that the last couple of years, I think everyone would've probably said 'no, he doesn't have the mental capacity, doesn't have the fitness capacity, he doesn't have the discipline', all that.
"I almost started doubting myself with all that traffic coming in and out of my mind. I just sat there today and soaked it all in," Kyrgios said.
The Australian will now come up against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, in what will be their third meeting at The All England Club, with one win each, and their tenth meeting overall. Nadal leads their head-to-head record 6-3, including a tight win in their most recent meeting at Indian Wells this year.
"We've had some absolute battles on that Centre Court," Kyrgios said on his meeting with Nadal.
"He's won one against me and I've won one against him. Obviously, we know two completely different personalities, I feel like we respect the hell out of each other though. That would probably be the most-watched match of all time," Kyrgios said.
Also in singles quarterfinal action on Wednesday - fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic's outstanding campaign came to an end, going down to No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina 6-4, 1-6, 3-6.
Tomljanovic impressively backed up her quarterfinal appearance at The All England Club by reaching the same stage for a second straight year but was unable to go one step further. And despite reaching back-to-back quarterfinals, with no ranking points being awarded at Wimbledon this year, Tomljanovic will lose the valuable ranking points she earned by reaching the quarterfinals last year and will therefore slide down the rankings.
On the doubles court, it was a tremendous day for Australian Matthew Ebden, who claimed two massive wins - advancing to the mixed doubles final, as well as the men's doubles semifinals.
In his first match of the day, Ebden and fellow Australian Max Purcell took down No. 7 seeds Australian John Peers and Slovak Filip Polasek 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
After three consecutive five-set wins, it was a much lighter task today for the Aussie duo, who are one win away from their second major final of the year, after reaching the Australian Open final in January.
The pair will now come up against No. 1 seeds Rajeev Ram of the Unites States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain. It will be the third meeting between the pairs, with their head-to-head at 1-1, the Aussies winning their most recent battle at the Australian Open this year.
In mixed doubles action, Ebden and fellow Australian Sam Stosur booked their place in the final - their second major final as a team (Australian Open 2021), with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 win over American duo Jack Sock and Coco Gauff.
The dynamic Aussie duo will now come up against No. 2 seeds Neal Skupski of Great Britain and Desire Krawczyk of the United States in the final.