Rafael Nadal faced make-or-break tests on Thursday to determine whether he would have to abandon his Wimbledon campaign.

The 22-time grand slam winner aggravated an abdominal injury during his five-set victory over Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals, admitting he had been in pain on court.

It did not prevent Nadal lasting the distance in a stirring battle lasting four hours and 21 minutes, taking the decider on a tie-break.

But Nadal risks having to pull out of Friday's semi-final against Australian Nick Kyrgios if his body is judged to have taken too much of a battering.

Family members appealed to Nadal to give up the ghost against Fritz, but the 36-year-old played on and pulled off a typically gutsy victory.

He confirmed after the match: "Tomorrow I'm going to have some more tests. But [it is] difficult to know. It's obvious that I am a player who had a lot of things in my tennis career, so I am used to have things and I am used to hold pain and to play with problems.

"Knowing that, when I feel something like I felt, that is because something is not going the proper way in abdominal. But let's see. I had these feelings for a couple of days."

Nadal said it was undoubtedly "the worst day" for his abdomen since he first felt a strain, which had required strapping before he played Fritz.

He said there had "been an important increase of pain and limitation", but Italian player Fabio Fognini appeared to question Nadal's injury status when he posted a message in an Instagram story, reacting to a report pointing out the Spaniard's problem.

The message read: "For sure... Guys stop believe in what you read PLEASE."

But Fognini later denied that meant he was questioning Nadal's injury, accusing journalists of twisting his words.

He wrote: "It's time to stop writing and reporting everything that you want in the wrong way. With that I wish Rafa and his entire team a lot of good luck in this Wimbledon final."

Former Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares, who now works in the sports media, also weighed in, writing on Twitter: "If there is anyone to believe in this society, it is @RafaelNadal. For many reasons that I am too lazy to cite.

"There are those who doubt his injury yesterday, but one fact does not bear debate: his serve was 30 per cent less than his usual speed ... Usual almost 200 km/h. Yesterday 150/160 km/h"

That did not quite stack up across the entire match, but Nadal's average serve speeds (107mph for first serve, 95mph for second serve) were his slowest of the tournament so far.

Nadal has already won the Australian Open and French Open titles this year, defying a long-time foot problem. Should he play on and win Wimbledon, he would go to the US Open in August with a chance of achieving the first men's singles calendar Grand Slam clean sweep since Rod Laver achieved the feat in 1969.

The winner of the semi-final between Nadal and Kyrgios, should it go ahead as planned, will face the winner of Novak Djokovic's match against Cameron Norrie in the title match.

Rafael Nadal says he does not know if he will be able to play in his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios after aggravating an abdominal injury during his five-set victory over Taylor Fritz.

Nadal, 36, has been vocal about his struggles physically during the tournament, but had been determined to push through the pain in an effort to keep his chances at the calendar slam alive, having already won this year's Australian Open and French Open.

During his quarter-final win against Fritz, family members were imploring Nadal to retire from the match as his clear discomfort appeared to be getting the better of him at times.

He admitted in his post-match media appearance that his condition worsened during the match, saying he will prioritise his health if he has to make a tough decision.

"I don't know [if I will be able to play] – I am going to have some more tests, but it is difficult to know," he said.

"I had these feelings for a couple of days, but without a doubt, today was the worst day. There has been an important increase of pain and limitation.

"I am worried. I don't have a decision. I need to know different opinions and I need to check everything the proper way.

"There is something more important than winning Wimbledon, and that is health."

The winner between Nadal and Kyrgios will face the winner of Novak Djokovic's semi-final against Cameron Norrie in the decider.

Rafael Nadal is hopeful he will overcome an abdominal injury that plagued him during his victory over Taylor Fritz in time for Friday's Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

The 22-time grand slam winner recovered from behind to edge Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) in a thrilling contest on Centre Court on Wednesday.

Nadal called for a medical time-out in the second set and never fully recovered from the issue, with his movement restricted throughout the four-hour-and-20-minute battle.

However, Nadal showed incredible mental and physical resilience to dig deep and see off first-time grand slam quarter-finalist Fritz and set up a showdown with Kyrgios.

Speaking in his on-court interview, the Spaniard admitted he was not entirely sure he would be able to see out his quarter-final tie after playing through the pain barrier.

"The body in general is fine," he said. "The abdominal [area] is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit different.

"For a lot of moments I was thinking I will not be able to finish the match, but the court energy was something else.

"I honestly enjoy a lot playing these kind of matches, in front of you guys, I can’t thank you enough. It has been a tough afternoon. [Fritz] is a great player, all the credit to him.

"He's been great the whole season. But from my personal side it was not an easy match at all, so I'm just very happy to be in the semi-final.

"I hope to be ready to play it. Nick is a great player on all surfaces but especially on grass, he is having a great grass-court season.

"It's going to be a big challenge and I'm going to need to be at my 100 per cent to have a chance, and that is what I'm going to try to do."

 

Nadal has now won all eight quarter-finals contested at Wimbledon and is on a 19-match winning run at grand slams – three short of his own record of 21, which he set in 2010.

The victory over Fritz marked only the second time Nadal has won a fifth-set tie-break at a major, having previously prevailed against Dominic Thiem at the 2018 US Open.

It was also the first time since the same stage four years ago, against Juan Martin Del Potro, that Nadal has come through a five-set match at Wimbledon.

He has two days to recover ahead of facing Kyrgios, who had earlier defeated Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach a first grand slam semi-final.

"Tomorrow I'm going to have some more tests. But it's difficult to know [how I'll feel]," Nadal said when providing a further update on his fitness.

"It's obvious that I am not the kind of player that I didn't have a lot of things [injuries] in my tennis career, so I am used to have things and I am used to hold pain and to play with problems.

"Knowing that, when I feel something like I felt, that is because something is not going the proper way. But let's see. 

"It's obvious that today is nothing new. I had these feelings for a couple of days. Without a doubt, today was the worst day.

"There has been an important increase of pain and limitation. I managed to win that match. Let's see what's going on tomorrow."

Nadal leads Kyrgios 6-3 in their previous nine career matches, including victories in two of their three meetings in majors.

Nick Kyrgios was in disbelief after reaching his first grand slam semi-final with a Wimbledon victory over Cristian Garin, suggesting his best chances of major success had been wasted.

Kyrgios produced an impressive display on No. 1 Court to down his Chilean opponent 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5), becoming the first unseeded Wimbledon semi-finalist since Rainer Schuttler and Marat Safin in 2008.

The Australian, who had lost two previous grand slam quarter-finals (at Wimbledon in 2014 and the Australian Open the following year) has courted controversy during a box-office run at SW19, spitting in the direction of a spectator during his opener last week before labelling Stefanos Tsitsipas "soft" after an ill-tempered third-round match.

And the 27-year-old, who took a moment to sit and savour his win before conducting his court-side interview, thought he had squandered any chance of grand slam success earlier in his career.

"Amazing atmosphere out here again, I just never thought I'd be at a semi-final of a grand slam, honestly, I thought my ship had sailed," he said.

"You know, I didn't go about things great earlier in my career, and may have wasted that little window.

"But I'm just really proud of the way I've come back out here, and of my team."

Kyrgios put the rows and trick-shots to one side during a professional performance, serving 17 aces and saving eight of the nine break points conjured by Garin.

Asked how he had found consistency without working with a full-time coach, Kyrgios said: "I don't have a coach, I would never put that burden on someone!

"Each and every one of my team plays a very important role, [but] I feel like no-one knows my tennis like I do. 

"I've been playing this sport since I was seven, and to reach a semi-final of a grand slam… I'm pretty happy."

Kyrgios' clash with Garin represented Wimbledon's first quarter-final between two unseeded players since 2008 (Arnaud Clement v Schuttler), and the Australian said he never felt in control against a tough opponent despite posting a straight-sets win.

"Honestly, I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot, he's a hell of a player, he's obviously feeling very confident, it's been a hell of a tournament from him to make the quarter-finals," he continued.

"I felt I got a bit lucky on a couple of break points here and there, it could easily have been him standing here.

"I'll just take that and prepare for my next match.

"I don't want to think about the semi-final just yet, there's a lot to be done from now until then. We'll go back, my dad will cook dinner as always, we'll watch a movie and just chill out. That's it."

Nick Kyrgios wasted little time in booking a first career grand slam as he outclassed Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach the last four of Wimbledon.

The Australian, a beaten quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015's Australian Open, dominated en route to a 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win in the tournament's first quarter-final between two unseeded players since 2008 (Arnaud Clement v Rainer Schuttler).

Kyrgios has courted controversy on multiple occasions over the last fortnight, spitting in the direction of a fan in the opening round before winning a bad-tempered clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas in round three, but he put the theatrics to one side in clinching a last-four spot on No. 1 Court.

Garin started strongly as he broke to love in the contest's opening game, but Kyrgios, energised after producing one of the shots of the tournament when stooping for a scarcely believable forehand winner, broke back shortly after.

After overcoming a back-and-forth ninth game to record another break, Kyrgios served the opener out to love before moving through the gears in the second, which he wrapped up in 38 minutes to extend his lead.

Kyrgios's fine serving allowed him to take control of the contest, with his 17 aces in the match moving him clear of John Isner (114) as the player with the most aces at Wimbledon this year (120).

The Australian lost his way for much of the third set, producing a series of unforced errors to give Garin hope, but the Chilean's failure to convert any of his last eight break points saw Kyrgios force a tie-break.

Kyrgios rediscovered his form in the breaker to see out the win, setting up a last-four meeting with either Taylor Fritz or Rafael Nadal.

Data Slam: Kyrgios flying the flag after making quick work of Garin

Kyrgios' win ensured he became the first male Australian player to reach Wimbledon's semi-finals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

Having being taken to five sets on two occasions in West London this year (by Paul Jubb and Brandon Nakashima), the 27-year-old enjoyed a more comfortable outing on Wednesday when extending the best major run of his career.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Garin 30/23
Kyrgios 35/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Garin 2/5
Kyrgios 17/4

BREAK POINTS WON

Garin 1/9
Kyrgios 3/6

Nick Kyrgios has been charged with common assault and summoned to appear before a court in Canberra next month, it has been reported in Australian media.

Australian Capital Territory Policing, who did not name Kyrgios directly, confirmed one charge of common assault relating to an incident in December 2021.

A barrister representing the tennis player responded by saying Kyrgios "takes the allegation very seriously" but would not be making an immediate public comment.

Kyrgios is in England, playing at Wimbledon, and is scheduled to face Cristian Garin in the quarter-finals of the competition on Wednesday.

The player's barrister, Jason Moffett, confirmed the charge.

"It's in the context of a domestic relationship," Moffett told the Canberra Times. "The nature of the allegation is serious, and Mr Kyrgios takes the allegation very seriously.

"Given the matter is before the court – he doesn't have a comment at this stage, but in the fullness of time we'll issue a media release."

An ACT Policing spokesperson in Canberra said: "ACT Policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT Magistrates Court on the 2nd of August in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021."

Nick Kyrgios reflected on what he feels is a new-found maturity after defeating Brandon Nakashima to earn his spot against Cristian Garin in the Wimbledon quarter-final.

The 27-year-old Australian needed five sets to make it past the 20-year-old American, eventually winning 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2.

In a match that was far from smooth sailing, Kyrgios needed a medical timeout following the first set to deal with some shoulder discomfort that has flared up since his fiery win against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Speaking to the media after his success, Kyrgios said everyone is dealing with niggling injuries this deep into a grand slam, but he is proud of the way he has handled adversity this time around.

"I woke up after Tsitsipas and had some shoulder pain," he said. "I’ve played so much tennis over the last month and a half that I felt it was about time for my body to start feeling some niggles. 

"I don’t think anybody is feeling 100 per cent at this time, Rafa – you see him dealing with something all the time – so it’s something I just manage. Mentally, I think I deal with these things a lot better now. 

"I knew today I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent, but mentally I stayed quite calm, knowing that I wasn’t able to serve full out for the five sets."

His ability to fight through his injury was just one aspect of how Kyrgios feels he has grown as both a player and a person, touching on how far he has come since being dragged out of the pub by his manager in 2019.

"I feel like I’ve been through so much, now I can stay composed," he said. "It’s the first time in my career that I wasn’t playing well, but I was able to say ‘wow, look how far I’ve come’ – It was rewarding. 

"I think I’m enjoying the battle a bit more – I’m expecting everyone to play well against me now. I was that kid once, the underdog, whereas today walking on Centre Court being the favourite was completely different for me, but I was able to navigate that.

"There was a time when I was having to be forced out of a pub at 4am to play Nadal [in the second round of 2019] – my agent had to come and get me out of a pub at 4am before I played my match on Centre Court, Wimbledon. 

"So I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure… to sit here, quarter-finals at Wimbledon, feeling composed, mature, completely blessed and comfortable in my own skin."

Having burst onto the scene at such a young age, Kyrgios said he feels he helped pave the way for the current generation of young stars.

"This is almost my 10th year on Tour," he said. "I kind of feel like I was the first guy who broke through young, like at 19, beating Rafa at Wimbledon. 

"I was the first young guy to show all the other guys – like Zverev and Thiem and stuff – that they could do it as well, I feel like I was the first one to break the mould. You look at guys like Alcaraz, Sinner who are just absolutely fearless. 

"I think a lot of players think that Federer, Djokovic and Nadal are almost Gods and you can’t hurt them. I feel like I showed at least one of them was human that day."

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios admitted to having a "chip on his shoulder" but dismissed the suggestion he bemoaned the controversy that seems to follow him, insisting he "loves it".

Two days on from an ill-tempered victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas that resulted in both players been fined, Kyrgios defeated 20-year-old Brandon Nakashima to progress to the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

It will be the Australian's first appearance in the last eight of the singles draw at a major since 2015 in Melbourne, however, with his other grand slam quarter-final showing having come at Wimbledon in 2014 – Kyrgios having beaten Rafael Nadal to reach that stage on that occasion.

Cristian Garin of Chile is next up, after what was a reasonably well-mannered display against Nakashima, who Kyrgios was full of praise for.

Yet he still managed to spark some contention on Monday, having wore a red cap and a pair of red Nike Jordan trainers during his post-match on-court interview, breaching Wimbledon's strict dress code.

This was put to Kyrgios in his post-match news conference, with the journalist in question asking the 27-year-old if he thought he was above the rules.

"Because I do what I want," Kyrgios replied. "I'm not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans. I'll wear some [Jordan] triple whites tomorrow.

"Nobody else, even after Wimbledon, really walks with Jordans on the court. I don't moan [about controversy], I love it – more attention for me.

"What's that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?"

Kyrgios' fellow Australian Pat Cash said over the weekend that his compatriot had taken tennis to "the lowest level".

Yet Kyrgios insists he now laughs off criticism, which he believes is a sign of how he has matured as a player.

"Honestly, I don't care. I just smile. It's so funny. It's hilarious," he chuckled. "I almost just wake up and read things and just laugh.

"I never forget things people might have said three, four years ago, they stick with me. I have a massive chip on my shoulder.

"And I sit here now, quarter-finals of Wimbledon again, and I just know there's so many people that are so upset. It's a good feeling.

"I don't think in the past when I’ve got this far in a grand slam, or played big matches, I used to be on my phone a lot, attached to technology, seeing everyone's opinions or highlights, but I feel like I'm able to switch off from that, and that's a big part of my growth. Being obsessed with my girlfriend helps!

"I'm really able to just let that go, separate tennis and life, I think that's the most important thing."

Nick Kyrgios was the recipient of lenient treatment from the chair umpire during his feisty Wimbledon clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas, so says John Lloyd.

Kyrgios has caused a stir at The All England Club over the past week, making headlines not only for his high-quality tennis, but his on-court behaviour.

The outspoken Australian is no stranger to arguing with umpires and line judges but has been particularly vitriolic at times at Wimbledon.

On Saturday he clashed with Tsitsipas, who subsequently accused the 27-year-old of being a "bully". Both players were fined for their conduct.

Now into the quarter-finals after beating Brandon Nakashima on Monday, Kyrgios has matched his best run at a grand slam, reaching the last eight at a major for the first time since 2015.

But former British number one Lloyd believes that stern calls from umpires are the way to keep a lid on Kyrgios' emotions.

Lloyd told Stats Perform: "I love watching Kyrgios because he is in some ways, it's almost like a [Roger] Federer, not in the personality, but the way he can conjure up shots that no one else can get.

"And plus, you never know what he's going to do with the drop, the underarm serves and various other things. That makes him a fun guy to watch. The game is looking for characters and I think we always say that [about Kyrgios].

"I have no problem with some of the stuff he does. But when it gets to the stage, which it was on Saturday, when it becomes a circus where it's all about him, there has to be a line there. 

"I think what happened was the umpire messed up. Something I can't understand is when you're umpiring Nick Kyrgios in a match as big as this, you have to put the best guy out there that won't stand for any stuff. In other words, you've got to set the standard from the beginning.

"[A line judge] came up to the umpire after the second or third game in the middle of the rally to say basically that he had sworn and the umpire sort of looked and then hesitated, didn't give him a warning. It was almost like he was thinking, 'I'll let this one slip.'

"Well, with certain players, you could let it slip. But with Nick, he should have come right down on him. So he should put out the setting to say this is not going to happen and he didn't do that, and after that, Nick just got all over him."

Lloyd also feels that world number five Tsitsipas, who was defeated 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) allowed Kyrgios to get under his skin.

"Tsitsipas was the sideshow. He's just trying to play tennis, and he's not being allowed to because of the constant barrage of talking going on," Lloyd added.

"He's rushing him the whole time. That's Tsitsipas' fault in some ways. He could have slowed it down. He was trying to be professional.

"When he lost the second set, he exploded. Hit the ball into the crowd, it did hit someone off a rebound. He could have got defaulted there.

"But for me, it was Kyrgios that goaded him for the first couple of sets and he was allowed to basically control the way the match was going, and I think that's got to be stopped. It's okay to have a bit of entertainment here and there, but not to the stage where your opponent can't play properly because of all the stuff that's going on."

Kyrgios will face Cristian Garin for a place in the semi-finals. It will be the first quarter-final between two unseeded players at Wimbledon since Arnaud Clement took on Rainer Schuttler in 2008.

Nick Kyrgios extended a perfect record in five-set Wimbledon encounters as he defeated Brandon Nakashima to make the last eight at SW19.

The outspoken Kyrgios has made plenty of headlines so far at Wimbledon, and had to battle hard against 20-year-old American Nakashima on Centre Court on Monday, two days after his ill-tempered clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

That win over the world number five took four sets, but Kyrgios needed all five this time around, eventually prevailing 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2.

The victory sent Kyrgios into the last eight at Wimbledon for the second time, after he reached the same stage by beating Rafael Nadal in 2014, while it is only the third time in the Australian's career that he has progressed to a grand slam quarter-final, having last done so in Melbourne in 2015.

It also kept up Kyrgios' 100 per cent record of winning Wimbledon matches that have gone to five sets, with the 27-year-old now 6-0 in that regard, with two of those victories coming at this year's edition of the major.

"First I want to say hell of an effort from Brandon, he's 20 years old and he's going to do some special things that's for sure," said Kyrgios, who needed medical attention on a shoulder injury during the tie, in his on-court interview.

"[It was] nowhere near my best performance, but I fought through, the crowd were amazing.

"I have played a lot of tennis in the last month and a half. His level didn't drop. My five-set level is pretty good and I've been here before, done it before and that is what I was thinking about."

The only disappointment from Kyrgios' point of view was missing out on an all-Australian quarter-final against Alex de Minaur, who squandered a two-set lead as he went down 2-6 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (10-6) to Cristian Garin, who became the first Chilean player to reach the last eight of a grand slam since Fernando Gonzalez at the US Open in 2009.

Any nerves are nothing that a stiff drink will not fix for Kyrgios, however.

"I was really excited to play De Minaur to be honest, he's been flying the Aussie flag for so long and he was two sets up when I came on court," he said.

"I need a large glass of wine tonight for sure.

"I stepped out here amongst the greatest of all time and I beat Nadal [in 2014]. All these experiences that I've had got me over the line today."

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been handed fines for their actions during a fiery Wimbledon clash where the former was accused of being a "bully".

The pair played out an ill-tempered third round encounter on Court One that saw the Australian come from behind to defeat the fourth seed in a 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) win.

The pair traded furious remarks afterwards, with the Greek accusing his rival of having an "evil side", while Kyrgios called his opponent "soft" and suggested he is disliked by his fellow players.

Now, the duo have been handed financial penalties, with Kyrgios charged $4,000 (£3,300) for an audible obscenity and Tsitsipas slapped with a $10,000 (£8,250) fine for unsportsmanlike conduct.

It is the second fine of the tournament for Kyrgios, who was sanctioned for an incident in his opening clash with Britain's Paul Jubb.

The Australian - who experienced grand-slam glory on home soil in the men's doubles earlier this year - will now face Brandon Nakashima in a last-16 tie.

Nick Kyrgios has dragged tennis into the gutter with his Wimbledon antics, according to Pat Cash.

According to Kyrgios' compatriot Cash, the Australian has taken the sport "to the lowest level" with his on-court behaviour in the first week of the tournament.

The 27-year-old beat fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) in an enthralling round-three tie on Saturday.

Tsitsipas accused his opponent of "constant bullying" after the ill-tempered clash, which was followed by a riposte as Kyrgios said the beaten Greek was "soft" and denied being a bully.

Kyrgios frustrated Tsitsipas by calling for him to be defaulted after the world number five narrowly missed a spectator when firing a ball into the crowd at the end of the second set.

The umpire was then labelled a "disgrace" during an extraordinary Kyrgios outburst, and his behaviour seemed to get under the skin of Tsitsipas, who was deducted a point for sending another ball towards the spectators before appearing to hit a couple of shots directly at his opponent's body.

Kyrgios has been a repeated critic of umpires and line judges, often appearing to show contempt to authority figures, and Cash – Wimbledon champion in 1987 – has had enough, calling out his countryman's conduct.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Cash said: "It was absolute mayhem. He's brought tennis to the lowest level I can see, as far as gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive behaviour to umpires, to linesmen.

"He was lucky to even get through the first set, he should have been defaulted in about the first set. Something's got to be done about it. It's an absolute circus.

"Is it entertaining? Yeah, possibly. But it's gone to its absolute limit now."

Asked how he considered Kyrgios to be cheating, Cash said: "The gamesmanship, the stuff that he was doing. The abuse that he was giving Tsitsipas.

"Tsitsipas would make a line call and he'd go up there and he'd start complaining, he was in his face. That's a part of gamesmanship. That's the sort of stuff that he does and I think there's a limit."

Cash's criticism comes ahead of Kyrgios facing American Brandon Nakashima on Monday. That match has been given the prize billing of first up on Centre Court, despite neither man being seeded.

The tennis authorities may not approve of some of the behaviour, but they know there is a huge public fascination with the highly talented Kyrgios, which is why that match has such a prestigious slot. He is 40th in the ATP rankings, and 20-year-old Nakashima is 56th on the list.

Kyrgios is just one win away from matching his best run at Wimbledon, having reached the quarter-finals in 2014 with a win over Rafael Nadal before being beaten by Milos Raonic.

Yet Cash indicated the loudmouthed showman should face sanctions for his actions.

"I have no problem with a bit of gamesmanship, but when it gets to that level I think it's out of control, and it was," Cash said.

"The umpire had lost control, the ball kids were running across the court as Kyrgios was serving. He didn't slow down for any of that stuff.

"Tsitsipas got sucked right in, so it was entertaining, and it was fascinating, but for me it's gone too far now."

Nick Kyrgios labelled Stefanos Tsitsipas "soft" and defended his on-court antics after the Greek called him a "bully" in the aftermath of their ill-tempered Wimbledon clash.

Kyrgios recovered from one set down to post an impressive 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) win over the fourth seed, setting up a last-16 tie with Brandon Nakashima with a scintillating performance on No. 1 Court.

But the contest was not without controversy, with Kyrgios frustrating Tsitsipas by calling for him to be defaulted after the Greek narrowly missed a spectator when firing a ball into the crowd at the end of the second set.

The Australian then labelled the umpire a "disgrace" during an extraordinary outburst, and his antics seemed to get under the skin of Tsitsipas, who was deducted a point for sending another ball towards the spectators before appearing to hit a couple of shots directly at Kyrgios.

While Kyrgios praised his opponent – with whom he played doubles at Wimbledon three years ago, as "a hell of a player" in his post-match interview, neither player was in the mood for niceties in their respective news conferences.

First up was Tsitsipas, who accused Kyrgios of "constant bullying".

"That's what he does," the world number five said of his rival. "He bullies the opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself.

"I don't like bullies. I don't like people that put other people down.

"He has some good traits in his character, as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which, if it's exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him."

Kyrgios, who has now claimed four wins in five career meetings with Tsitsipas, responded to that criticism shortly thereafter, alleging the Greek was not popular in the locker room and saying his inability to handle such matches would hold him back.

"He's that soft, to come in here and say I bullied him? That's just soft," Kyrgios said. 

"We're not cut from the same cloth. If he's affected by that today, then that’s what's holding him back, because someone can just do that and that's going to throw him off his game like that. I just think it's soft.

"I don't know what to say. I'm not sure how I bullied him.

"He was the one hitting balls at me, he was the one that hit a spectator, he was the one that smacked it out of the stadium.

"I didn't do anything. I was actually like… apart from me just going back and forth to the umpire for a bit, I did nothing towards Stefanos today that was disrespectful, I don't think. I was not drilling him with balls.

"I feel great, the circus was all him today. I think if he's making that match about me, he's got some serious issues, I'm good in the locker room, I've got many friends, I'm actually one of the most liked [players]. I'm set.

"He's not liked, let's just put that there. I'm good, I feel good."

Kyrgios is just one win away from matching his best run at Wimbledon, having reached the quarter-finals in 2014 with a win over Rafael Nadal before being beaten by Milos Raonic.

Nick Kyrgios acknowledged having his "own tactics" after overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dramatic, ill-tempered affair to reach Wimbledon's last 16.

Kyrgios produced an outstanding display to rally after losing the first set on No. 1 Court, eventually prevailing 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) in an incident-filled match.

The enigmatic star set the tone with an incredible outburst after a frustrated Tsitsipas struck a ball into the crowd at the end of the second set, narrowly missing a spectator.

The Australian immediately called for his opponent to be defaulted, recalling Novak Djokovic's contentious exit from the 2020 US Open after he had accidentally hit a line judge in frustration after dropping a game.

Kyrgios could be heard calling the umpire a "disgrace", and then, after Tsitsipas had been let off with a warning, the unseeded talent asked: "Are you dumb?"

He then hit out at the umpire, yelling: "What are you talking about? Novak hit someone, it is the same, it happened right there. 

"Bring out more supervisors, I'm not done. You can bring them all out, I don't care. I'm not playing until we get to the bottom of it. 

"What happened to Novak when he hit the ball into a girl? She was injured. You can't hit a ball into the crowd and hit someone and not get defaulted."

But the drama was far from done as Tsitsipas flew into a rage of his own early in the third, having been hit with a point deduction for wildly firing another ball towards the crowd – but hitting the scoreboard instead – after Kyrgios produced a mischievous underarm serve when holding to love.

The fourth seed's frustration was evident as he then appeared to hit a couple of shots right at Kyrgios to boos from spectators, who vociferously cheered every point for the Australian.

But after producing some outstanding tennis to end the aggravated Tsitsipas' hopes of winning a first grand slam title, Kyrgios said he had no problems with the Greek, whom he played doubles with at Wimbledon in 2019.

"Honestly, it was a hell of an atmosphere, an amazing match, I honestly felt like the favourite coming in; I played him a couple of weeks ago, but I knew it was going to be a tough match," he said.

"He's a hell of a player, I had my own tactics out there – he knows how to play me, he's beaten me once, and obviously I've had success, so it was a hell of a match.

"I'm just super happy to be through, he was getting frustrated at times and it's a frustrating sport, that's for sure. I know you all think you can play, but it's very frustrating, whatever happens on the court, I love him."

Kyrgios now holds a 4-1 head-to-head lead over Tsitsipas, having also got the better of the world number five on the grass at the Halle Open earlier this month.

The 27-year-old also previously courted controversy during his run to the fourth round when he spat in the direction of a "disrespectful" fan during his first-round win over Paul Jubb.

But Kyrgios claimed his antics serve to drive interest in the sport, adding: "It's amazing, everywhere I go I seem to have full stadiums.

"The media loves to write that I'm bad for the sport, but clearly not."

Nick Kyrgios took a swipe at his critics after storming to a mesmerisingly brilliant second-round win at Wimbledon, setting up an appetising clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 27-year-old Australian was largely all business and no nonsense as he won 6-2 6-3 6-1 in one hour and 25 minutes against 26th seed Filip Krajinovic, delivering the kind of performance that underlines his potential threat at this tournament.

Yet Kyrgios had been far from his best against British player Paul Jubb in round one, eventually forcing victory by taking a tight fifth set, and his on-court behaviour came in for close scrutiny too in that match.

Against Jubb, a line judge was prompted to speak to the chair umpire about Kyrgios, whose demands for some fans to be removed were punctuated by spitting towards a section of the crowd upon victory.

Kyrgios spoke after that match of receiving "a lot of disrespect" from the crowds, while he also jousted with journalists in a news conference, before being angered by what he read afterwards.

Sinking Queen's Club runner-up Krajinovic in such a classy fashion was described by the unseeded Kyrgios as his response.

"I was pretty disappointed in my performance in the first round. Then obviously the media's disrespect and just everything, it was just kind of a reminder to put you all back in your place from the performance today," Kyrgios said. "He made finals at Queen's, top 30 in the world, seeded. It's a gentle reminder."

Kyrgios hit 50 winners and made only 10 unforced errors, saying in an on-court interview that he had displayed "great body language".

"I just wanted to remind everyone that I'm pretty good," he said, with a deliberately straight face.

"I'm just happy. I've been working hard and I've been preparing for this tournament. It's been circled on my calendar pretty much all year, and I'm so excited to be here again.

"I think it's my best chance to win a grand slam of all the four [majors], and I'll keep taking it match by match. I've got an incredibly tough draw still, and today I couldn't have played better and now I can just recover and get ready."

Awaiting Kyrgios in round three is Tsitsipas, a straight-sets winner on Thursday against another Australian, Jordan Thompson.

Kyrgios holds a 3-1 winning head-to-head advantage over Tsitsipas in their previous meetings, coming out on top when they met at Halle just a fortnight ago.

That recent match means Tsitsipas has it fresh in his mind what it might take to topple Kyrgios, and the Greek fourth seed told a news conference: "He claims to like grass and his game is good for the grass.

"I am thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot on the court and what he is trying to do. Even though he has been a little controversial in the past, I think he's playing good tennis.

"I'm going to concentrate on doing my own thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can have a great competitive match against him."

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