Wimbledon 2022: Mercurial Kyrgios cruises past Garin for first Grand Slam semis

London, Jul 7 (IANS): Temperamental Australian star Nick Kyrgios overcame Chilean Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach the men's singles semifinals at Wimbledon here on Wednesday.

The mercurial Kyrgios defeated Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) at Court No. 1 to become the first Australian male player to reach the last four stage at a Grand Slam since Lleyton Hewitt did that at the US Open in 2005.

The 27-year-old Kyrgios overpowered Garin with his thunderous ball striking, while he also demonstrated great touch from all areas of the court to earn the biggest win of his season after two hours and 13 minutes.

Ranked No 40 in the ATP Rankings, Kyrgios, who was playing in his third major quarterfinal and first since the 2015 Australian Open, will next meet second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal or American Taylor Fritz. Kyrgios trails 22-time major champion Nadal 3-6 in their head-to-head, while he has never played Indian Wells titlist, Fritz.

Garin was off to a fast start in his first meeting with Kyrgios, quickly finding his rhythm from the baseline to earn an early break. However, having earned confidence-boosting wins in the past week, Kyrgios never looked worried and swiftly worked his way back in the set by increasing his intensity.

The Australian hit his flat backhand with control, while he played aggressively off his forehand wing and serve, firing 20 winners, including 10 aces in the first and second sets to take control.

Fuelled by momentum, the 27-year-old soaked up the pressure in the third set as Garin started to demonstrate great footwork to dictate on the forehand. The Australian, who lost in the quarter-finals on debut at SW19 in 2014, saved all three break points he faced in the set, before he produced moments of magic in the tie-break, rallying from 3/5 to advance. The Australian collapsed to the ground following his standout victory.

With his win, Kyrgios has become the lowest-ranked men's semifinalist and first unseeded men's semifinalist at Wimbledon since 2008, when World No. 75 Marat Safin and World No. 94 Rainer Schuettler both reached the last four, according to a report on the ATP website.

Kyrgios is now 12-2 on grass this season, the most wins by any player on this surface, having advanced to consecutive semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle last month. The Australian has edged Paul Jubb and Brandon Nakashima in five sets, while also eliminating Filip Krajinovic and upsetting World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous rounds here.



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Title: Wimbledon 2022: Mercurial Kyrgios cruises past Garin for first Grand Slam semis

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