Nick Kyrgios was left delighted and very much in need of a glass of wine after he continued his hugely impressive run at Wimbledon on Monday.
The unseeded Australian won through to the quarter-finals at the All England Club with a back-and-forth 6-4 4-6 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2 victory over Brandon Nakashima of the USA on Centre Court.
With the match being on Centre as opposed to Court 1, the atmosphere was less raucous than his fiery and dramatic clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday evening, but the crowd still roared on Kyrgios as he took another step at SW19.
After having been fined for his part in the controversial scenes with Tsitsipas, Kyrgios was more worried about his shoulder early on as he struggled to move freely in the opening set.
But painkillers and huge support from the Wimbledon fans helped considerably as he found his rhythm and fought off the doughty American in the fifth set to continue his impeccable record in matches that go all the way at the famous event.
The 27-year-old will next take on Cristian Garin of Chile in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, and he was full of praise for Nakashima after the marathon match.
“Hell of an effort from Brandon,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview.
“He’s a hell of a player and he’s going to do some special things, that’s for sure.
“It wasn’t anywhere near my best performance level-wise, but super happy to get through. I fought really hard today and it was special stepping out here once again.
“I played a lot of tennis in the last month and a half, and I’m proud of the way that I steadied the ship. He came back firing in the fourth set, his level didn’t drop.
“My five-set record is pretty good, I’ve never lost a five-set match here. That was what I was thinking about: I’ve been here before, I’ve done it before.
“I was really excited to play [Alex] de Minaur, to be honest. He has been flying the Aussie flag for so long. I came on court when he was two sets up, so I was expecting to play him, but I’m not even thinking about that.
“I need a glass of wine for sure tonight! For sure!
“I stepped out here against one of the greatest of all time [Rafael Nadal in 2014] and beat him. These are all things I had in the back of my mind.
“Brandon hasn’t played on this court at all, so I think that is what got me over the line today.”
Later in his press conference, Kyrgios spoke about how far he has come, both in maturity and his professionalism off the court.
“There was a time where I was forced out of a pub at 4am to play Nadal in the second round,” he said. “My agent had to come get me out of a pub at 4am before I played my match on Centre Court Wimbledon.
“I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure, but I think just daily habits and the people around me. I’ve got an incredible support crew. My physio is one of my best friends. My best friend is my agent. I’ve got the best girlfriend in the world. I’ve just got so many people around me, they just support me.
“I feel like I can reflect on all those dark times when I pushed them all away. Now to sit here in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, feeling good, feeling composed, feeling mature, having that around me, I’m extremely blessed. I feel like I’m just comfortable in my own skin.”