Nick Kyrgios and Angelique Kerber stunned the reigning French Open champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, respectively in the fourth round of the Wimbledon at the All England Club on Tuesday.
Australian Kyrgios caused one of the greatest upsets in the Wimbledon to send the two-time champion Nadal packing 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3. He thus became the first player ranked outside top-100 since Andrei Olhovskiy to defeat a top-10 player in The Championships.
The Aussie played fearlessly against the 14-time major winner and fired 34 aces and 70 winners. He committed more unforced errors than Nadal, but his huge serve helped him get the better of the world number one.
"I think I was in a bit of a zone out there," Kyrgios said, "It hasn't sunk in what just played out there. I played extraordinary tennis. I was struggling a bit on return, but I worked my way into it. I served at a really good level and I'm really happy."
"You've got to believe you can win the match from the start and I did," he added. "I'm playing unbelievable tennis on the grass. He hit extraordinary shots, but he's always going to bring that."
Nadal, trailing 1-0 in the match, swung the momentum in the second set and levelled the tie. He came close to clinching the third set, but the Australian prodigy saved the set point and took 2-1 lead by winning the third in the tie breaker.
Kyrgios pounced on Nadal's serve in the fourth set and managed to break in the fourth game. He went on to hold his serve and book the quarterfinals clash with Canadian Milos Raonic.
"The thing is this surface, when you have an opponent that decides to serve and to hit every ball very strong, you are in trouble," said Nadal. "I think that I didn't play really bad, but that's the game in this surface."
"I think in the second and the third set I was better than him, but I was not able to convert those opportunities," he added. "And for the rest, I think he played better than me. So, in general, talking about what you need to win in this surface, he did the things better than me."
Meanwhile, Kerber of Germany put up an inspirational performance against the former champion Sharapova to book last-eight berth in The Championships. The German will meet Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the next round.
The five-time champion, who was looking to clinch her second Wimbledon title, uncharacteristically committed 43 unforced errors and went down 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-4 on the Centre Court.
However, Sharapova showed competitive spirit late in the third set, when she saved six break points, but made another error to go down in one hour and 24 minutes.
"It's unbelievable," Kerber said. "It was such a tough match. We were playing on a really high level, and it was so close - every single set was so close. I'm just happy I won the match - Maria is a great player and plays so well on grass, so this is really just unbelievable."
"When I had three match points at 0-40, I was just trying to focus on myself, play my game and stay aggressive," she added. "In the end it worked, and I'm happy I won this battle and am in the quarterfinals now. I enjoyed playing on Centre Court. I think the fans enjoyed it too. It was an amazing atmosphere."