What nobody thought was possible when Wimbledon began, has happened. Rafael Nadal was eliminated on Day 8.
Australian teenager and absolute longshot, Nick Kyrgios took the top-ranked player in the world to four sets, and beat him. Nobody saw this coming and absolutely nobody should have seen it coming. Kyrgios is best described as “never heard of him,” ranked 144th in the world in singles play — yet here he is taking on Nadal at center court. Disney couldn’t have written this better.
Not only did he defeat Nadal, but he took exactly zero of Nadal’s psych-out techniques. Making him wait to serve, prancing about, none of it shook this kid at all. Not only that, but in the fourth set, he got Nadal to drop his serve, proving this “kid” had shook the champ. Rarely do we see this sort of thing. Neither has Nadal, who was understandably not happy about the whole thing.
What this does to the Men’s singles tournament is obvious to anyone watching. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are officially on warning. They have two possible things to worry about: face one another, or face this kid.
Murray seems to be unflappable but still has yet to be seriously challenged. Djokovic, on the other hand, seems to have found a groove, stayed in it, and is making it all work for him. The last thing the two of them need is some giant killer like Kyrgios messing plans up for them.
And then there’s Roger Federer.
Federer sailed into quarterfinals play, giving the devil’s spanking to Tommy Robredo in sets. While the world is sweating Murray, Djokovic, and Nadal — Federer quietly dropped bombs.
At this point, who knows what can happen? All we can honestly say is that the next 24 hours are going to be seriously weird for Kyrgios, and that no matter what happens, from now on he knows he went toe-to-toe with the best in the world at center court at Wimbledon — and won.