Our day ten talking points start with Nick Kyrgios after the unpredictable Australian reached his first grand slam semi-final. Kyrgios overcame an early break deficit in the opening set to defeat Cristian Garin 6-4 6-3 7-6(5). It has been a long road for Kyrgios who has experienced his ups, downs and moments of controversy to get to this point. However the Australian once again proved that when dialled-in, he can challenge for the biggest titles tennis has to offer.
The victory was one that was clearly emotional for him as he sat on his chair contemplating what had just happened. In his post-match press conference Kyrgios spoke about that moment and the journey he has been on to get into a grand slam semi-final:
“Just how things can change. There was a point where I was almost done with the sport,” Kyrgios admitted.
“Obviously I posted this year about the kind of mental state I was in in 2019 when I was at the Australian Open with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and stuff. I’m sitting there today after the match… To be a semifinalist at Wimbledon, it’s a special accomplishment for everyone, but I think especially for me.
“I don’t think anyone would have — if you asked anyone if I was able to do that the last couple years, I think everyone would have probably said, No, he doesn’t have the mental capacity, he doesn’t have the fitness capacity, he doesn’t have the discipline, all that.
“I almost started doubting myself with all that traffic coming in and out of my mind. I just sat there today and soaked it all in. There’s just so many people I want to thank. At the same time I feel like I don’t want to stop here either.
“Rocky. But, honestly, I’m so proud of just — like honestly, at the start of the year, I didn’t even know if I wanted to really play like a proper schedule at all. I don’t really play a proper schedule now. It’s been a long road. I think it was a seven-, eight-year gap to make a quarterfinal here from my first one. It’s been a heck of a ride.”
Kyrgios will now get to relish playing a grand slam semi-final on Centre Court when he takes on Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard’s bid for a calendar grand slam is alive for now as he overcame an abdomen injury to defeat Taylor Fritz in a last set tiebreak. Speaking about the match Kyrgios admitted it will be special to play Nadal at SW19:
“Yeah, obviously it would be pretty special to play Rafa here,” Kyrgios added.
“We’ve had some absolute battles on that Centre Court. He’s won one against me, and I’ve won one against him. Obviously, we know, two completely different personalities. I feel like we respect the hell out of each other, though.
“I feel like that would be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world. That would probably be the most-watched match of all time. I would argue that.”
Nadal leads the head-to-head 6-4 heading into Friday afternoon’s electric semi-final.
On the women’s side Simona Halep extended her winning streak to 12 matches after the Romanian defeated Amanda Anisimova in straight sets. Halep survived a late surge from the American as the 2019 champion continued her march to a potential final with Ons Jabeur. Halep after the match spoke about the effect coach Patrick Mouratoglou has had on her game:
“First he’s a great person inside. We really connected from first minute,” Halep told the press.
“As a coach he talks super simple but super powerful. I take everything he tells me super good and positive, and I can actually put in practical. So it’s easy for me to get the information and to display it. Yeah, he’s positive, as I said. He trusted in myself that I still can be a good player.
“He sent me somehow this confidence, and I started to believe in myself again that I have that chance to be a good player again. Yeah, he thinks that everything is possible. So this helps me to trust a lot in what I’m doing.”
Halep’s confidence has seen her become a grand slam contender again as the 16th seed is two wins away from a third Grand Slam title. The former champion also spoke about the differences between now and when she won the title in 2019:
“I’m different. I play different. I play well now. All the matches were different than in 2019,” Halep said.
“So I’m just taking the confidence, I’m taking the pleasure of being on the court. I think every match I got a little bit better. I had tough opponents, and I did what I had to do every day. Now I’m playing really well. I’m feeling confident that I feel the game the way I felt back then. Yeah, only positive things, good memories. Yeah, I just feel good about it.”
Halep will now play Elena Rybakina in Thursday’s semi-final after the Kazakh defeated Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets. Rybakina’s aggressive tennis has seen her into a first grand slam semi-final with the 17th seed bettering her result from Roland Garros last year. After the match Rybakina spoke about her decision to play tennis and how she nearly didn’t become a tennis player:
“Yes, of course you always doubt if you going to be professional or not because I was finishing school and I was going actually every day when I was home,” Rybakina said.
“It was not an easy decision because, of course, financially it’s difficult. It’s a very expensive sport. Like all the parents, my parents, they were worried if something happens, if you get injured, of course you want your kid to study and not to risk. But I think we made a good choice. I’m very happy that I’m playing now.
“They believed in me. They made everything possible for me to keep playing, keep improving. I had all the conditions to practice and everything. Of course, it helped a lot.”
Rybakina leads the head-to-head 2-1 heading into Thursday’s match but it was Halep who won their last meeting at the US Open last year.
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