The adrenaline rush of slaying Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon was replaced by dejection and despondency only 24 hours later, but Australian tyro Nick Kyrgios should take plenty of heart from what he described as the “best couple of weeks of my life.”
The 19-year-old who survived nine match points against Richard Gasquet in the third round, then sent world No. 1 Nadal spinning out of the tournament on Tuesday, finally met his match in Milos Raonic on Wednesday.
While missing out on a semi-final date with seven-times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer must hurt, Kyrgios could draw some inspiration from his hero’s path to greatness.
Thirteen years ago, a pony-tailed Federer burst onto the big stage when he ended Pete Sampras’ charge toward an eighth All England Club title in a five-set thriller in the fourth round.
One round later, the then 19-year-old Swiss had nothing left to give and went out with a whimper.
It took two more years for Federer to finally crack the Grand Slam riddle, but from then on, he has had no equal.
Unlike Federer, who was seeded 15th at the 2001 championships, Kyrgios has turned the tennis world on its head while ranked 144th.
“It’s been the best couple of weeks of my life. Never did I think that I was ever going to make quarter-finals of Wimbledon and beat Nadal on Centre Court. It’s all happened pretty fast,” the Australian wildcard said.
“I woke up this morning and it had sunk in. It was such a great achievement. That’s something that no one can take away from me. I’m always going to have that now,” he said.
“It’s been a special week for me. At the same time, it’s been so exhausting. I got nothing left to give,” he added.
The teenager found himself turning heads when he rocked up for his quarter-final with Raonic.
However, the golden arm that fired 37 aces against Nadal on Tuesday, had, unsurprisingly, turned into dead wood 24 hours later.