At 19 years-old, 144th ranked Nick Kyrgios beat tennis’ No.1 player in the world, Rafael Nadal in the 4th round of 2014 Wimbledon to advance to the quarterfinals, but fell to Canada’s Milos Raonic in a close match, 7-6, 2-6, 4-6, 6-7.
How impressive is it for 19-y.o. Nick Kyrgios to reach No66 after beating Nadal? Next highest teen (Borna Coric) is ranked 243rd. #Wimbledon
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 1, 2014
Here’s what you need to know about the breakthrough star:
1. He Beat Rafael Nadal in the 4th Round of Wimbledon
Kyrgios beat Rafael Nadal in the 4th round of Wimbledon with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-7, 3-6 victory to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. This is the first time Nadal has been beaten by someone born in the 90s. Watch the video above to see his match point to beat Rafa.
Kyrgios said in a post-match interview:
You got to believe you can win the match from the start and I did.”
I love every single one of them (his fans), they gave me the spark and energy that I need.”
Here is why he was such a huge underdog:
While Nadal has won 64 career titles and $70,505,136 in prize money, Kyrgios’ winnings add up to 1/300 of the sum at $235,000 total with no titles thus far. Needless to say, the odds were against him.
2. He Turned Pro Last Year
Kyrgios won his first junior tour title in 2010 at the age of 15 and went on to win two junior Grand Slam titles in 2012 to become No. 3 in the world on the junior tour. By 2013 he moved up to No. 1 in the world before joining the Pro Tour.
3. He Broke the Record For Most Match Points Saved At Wimbledon
In the second round of Wimbledon 2014, Kyrgios saved nine match points to beat Richard Gasquet who was the No. 13 in the tournament.
Kyrgioswas down two sets in the match but won 3-6 6-7 6-4 7-5 10-8, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in Wimbledon since 1966.
Kyrgios said in an interview after a match:
It was an unbelievable match out there. It’s definitely the biggest win of my career. I’m so proud of how I hung in and fought it out.’’
4. Roger Federer is His Idol
In an interview with DailyMail, the teen star said when asked who he would want to have as a tennis partner:
I would probably say Roger Federer. He’s my idol. Just to get to see how he thinks out on the court, have a lot of a fun with him and idolise him being next to me on the court. That would be my dream.”
5. He is Half Greek, Half Malaysian
Although he was born in Canberra, Australia, Kyrgios is half Greek and half Malaysian. His father Giorgos was from Greece and his mother Norlaila was from Malaysia before they settled in Australia. Kygrios is the third of three kids in his family including his brother Christos and his sister Halimah.