Nick Kyrgios has admitted that he “thought my ship had sailed” after he expressed his immense pride at having reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon.
The unseeded 27-year-old roared back after losing his serve in the opening game to storm past the Chilean in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 7-6, and reach the last four at the All England Club.
Kyrgios has now surpassed his previous best performance at a Grand Slam singles event as his hugely eventful campaign at SW19 took another step forward.
The Australian will now await Rafael Nadal after the legendary Spaniard overcame Taylor Fritz in five sets, despite having had to contend with an abdominal injury.
“An amazing atmosphere here again,” he said in his on-court interview. “I just never thought I’d be in a semi-final of a Grand Slam. I honestly thought my ship had sailed.
“I didn’t go about things great earlier in my career, I may have wasted that little window. Just really proud of the way I have come out here and really proud of my team just to be able to put on a performance.
“I don’t have a coach, I wouldn’t put that burden on someone. Each and every one of my team plays a very important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I have been playing this sport since I was seven, so to make the semi-final of a Grand Slam, I am pretty happy.
“I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He [Garin] is a hell of a player, he’s obviously feeling very confident, hell of a tournament from him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points and it could have easily been him standing here.
“I don’t want to think about the semi-final, there’s a lot to be done up to then. We will just go back, my dad will cook us dinner as always and we’ll just eat it and watch a movie and just chill out.”
Eurosport’s Mats Wilander has given some advice to any opponent that Kyrgios may face in terms of how to focus on their own game and not what may be going on on the other side of the court.
“You have to be prepared, you definitely have to be prepared,” said seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander.
“You have to realise that when Kyrgios begins his controlled chaos, it is most probably going to mean that he plays better. The most important thing is to be prepared for that.
“That means, don’t worry about it, don’t care, don’t listen to what Nick is saying, basically don’t look at him. Play the tennis ball that is coming at you and know that the guy hitting it at you is one of the most talented players of all time.
“He is literally a genius when it comes to feel, tactics and hitting the right shot at the right time. You have just got to shut that out and put a blindfold on. Do what you can do as a player and don’t worry about what goes on on the other side.”