French Open champions Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal both exited Wimbledon in the fourth round, while five-time champion Serena Williams felt ill during her doubles match yesterday and retired from the tournament.
Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios struck 37 aces to beat the second-seeded Nadal, of Spain, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 on Centre Court to become the first man in a decade to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in his tournament debut.
“I’m going to the beach in Mallorca,” Nadal said in a news conference, after becoming the first No. 1-ranked player in the world to lose to a teenager since he beat Roger Federer at the 2005 French Open.
Nadal, 28, hasn’t reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals since he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the 2011 championship match. In 2012, he was knocked out in the second round by Czech Lukas Rosol, while Belgium’s Steve Darcis beat him in the first round last year.
“I was not able to read his serve during the whole match,” said Nadal, a two-time champion at the All England Club. “I was not able to put enough returns inside.”
Serving for the match at 5-3, 144th-ranked wild-card entrant Kyrgios set up three match points with a big serve followed by a forehand. He won the match on his 37th ace. Nadal had 11 aces in the almost three-hour match, two fewer than the 19-year-old Kyrgios had in the first set alone.
At 5-all in the second-set tiebreaker, Kyrgios produced a 114 mile-per-hour (183 kilometer-per-hour) second serve.
“That’s what happens when you have nothing to lose,” Nadal said. “You can play that way.”
Kyrgios said he got fired up when his mother back home in Australia said he wouldn’t have a chance against 14-time major winner Nadal.
“That got me angry,” Kyrgios said in a news conference. “I’ll text her a smiley face.”
Kyrgios plays No. 8 seed Milos Roanic today for a spot in the semifinals. The Canadian beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori yesterday in four sets, firing 35 aces.
Also today, men’s defending champion Andy Murray of Britain plays Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the quarterfinals, while Djokovic faces Croatia’s Marin Cilic. Seven-time champion Roger Federer plays fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
Nadal’s exit came a few hours after 2004 champion Sharapova lost in the fourth round by 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4 to the ninth-seeded Kerber of Germany.
Sharapova saved six match points before finally succumbing on the seventh with a backhand long, her 49th error of the match. Kerber, who plays Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard today, made 11 unforced mistakes.
“At the end, I was trying to focus just from point to point,” Kerber said in a news conference. “I was telling myself: ‘You can do it. She will not make mistakes. If you would like to win the match, you need to do it, to be aggressive, just go for it.’”
Last month at Roland Garros, Sharapova came back from a set down three times to clinch her second French Open title. Although Sharapova struck 57 winners, 30 more than her opponent, her serve and accuracy on her ground strokes occasionally let her down.
“I gave myself a chance to come back in the match after losing the first set,” Sharapova told reporters. “After having a slow start to the third, I felt like I worked too hard within the match to let it go the easy way. So I did everything I could in the end to try to save those. I did, but I didn’t save the last one.”
Sharapova’s defeat leaves Petra Kvitova as the only previous champion in the women’s draw. The 2011 winner moved to the semifinals with a 6-1, 7-5 defeat of fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Kvitova will face another Czech player, Lucie Safarova, for a spot in the championship match.
Shortly before Nadal’s departure on Centre Court, the crowd on Court No. 1 watched in disbelief as Serena Williams was barely able to hit a serve over the net during her second-round doubles match with sister Venus against Kristina Barrois of Germany and Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.
Serena Williams promised to return to Wimbledon after she retired from the match as the sisters trailed 3-0. The match had been delayed by 14 minutes as a doctor examined Williams on the court. Tournament organizers said in a statement later that the 17-time major singles champion -- who lost in the third round in singles -- had a viral illness.
“I am heartbroken I’m not able to continue in the tournament,” Serena said in a written statement provided by organizers that thanked fans for their cheers and understanding.
The day had started without drama on Court No. 1, as Federer played a perfect serving set against Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo to move to his 12th Wimbledon quarterfinal.
The seven-time champion from Switzerland defeated Robredo, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Federer won all of his 20 service points in the second set. He’s the only men’s player not to have been broken on his serve so far this tournament, winning 54 service games and saving only eight break points.
“I’m serving well, I’m moving well, and I’m returning alright,” Federer said in a televised interview. “I feel like my game is right there.”
His next opponent, Australian Open champion Wawrinka, defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7), 6-3.
“When you play Roger at Wimbledon, when he is fit and confident and feeling well, it’s one of the biggest challenges in tennis,” Wawrinka said in a news conference.
Third-seeded woman Simona Halep, runner-up to Sharapova at the French Open and the highest-ranked woman left at Wimbledon, rolled past Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in straight sets. Sabine Lisicki, the German runner-up last year, needed three sets to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. She’ll meet Halep in the quarterfinals.
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