Kyrgios and Tomljanović reach Wimbledon quarter-finals, as De Minaur and Kubler miss out


Nick Kyrgios is through to his first Wimbledon quarter-final since his debut in 2014, while compatriot Ajla Tomljanović has reached the last eight for the second-straight year.

Monday’s action did not, however, set up the all-Aussie quarter-final between Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur many were hoping for, with 19th-seeded De Minaur letting slip a two-sets-to-love lead against Chile’s Cristian Garin to lose in a tense fifth-set super tie-break.

The dream run of Queenslander Jason Kubler also came to an end in the fourth round, when he was beaten in straight sets by 11th seed Taylor Fritz.

They had been aiming for a 48-year first, to send four Australians to the Wimbledon quarters, but only half got the job done.

Neither of the winners had it easy though, with both going the distance in their fourth-round clashes.

Tomljanović spent two and a half hours on court against veteran Alizé Cornet, bouncing back from dropping the first set to eventually win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In doing so, she became the first Australian woman into successive quarter-finals at Wimbledon since Jelena Dokic 22 years ago, but it was a battle.

Ajla Tomljanović has admirably filled the shoes left by retired women’s number one Ash Barty.(AP: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Tomljanović went 5-1 up in the decider only for Cornet, who stunned world number one Iga Świątek in the last round, to fight back to serve at 3-5.

Cornet then saved two match points but the Australian number one forced a third after an incredible 26-stroke rally at deuce that typified the brutal contest, before the world number 44 won the match at the net.

“I didn’t think I could do it,” an emotional Tomljanović said.

“I didn’t know if I could keep up my physicality and she (Cornet) never goes away.

“I had such great memories from last year and I look back and think I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should. I’ve had tough moments this year and now, a year on, I am here again.”

Last year, Tomljanović ran up against countrywoman and eventual champion Ash Barty, but this time she will face Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina in a bid to make her first major semi-final.

While Tomljanović is back for the second-straight year, it has been eight years between drinks for Kyrgios, who stunned then-second seed Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of his Wimbledon debut in 2014.

The two could meet against in the final four, but first Kyrgios will take on Garin after beating 56th-ranked American Brandon Nakashima 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-2 in three hours and 11 minutes.

While it was not quite as long as his controversial four-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round, the victory over Nakashima may have been the hardest as he battled a shoulder complaint.

“I’ve been here before, done it before and that is what I was thinking about,” Kyrgios said after taking his record in five-set matches to 6-0.

“Nowhere near my best performance, but I fought through, and the crowd were amazing.

“I have played a lot of tennis in the last month and a half and I’m just proud with how I played.”

De Minaur misses out on match points in fourth-round loss

Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur dives to plays a forehand at Wimbledon.
Alex de Minaur won the first two sets, but dropped the last three, including two tie-breaks.(AP: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

There were hopes that Kyrgios would be joined in the last eight by De Minaur, setting up a mouth-watering showdown between the top-ranked Australian men’s players, but the 19th seed confessed to being powerless to wrestle back lost momentum in his deflating fourth-round defeat.

De Minaur was unable to convert either of two match points in the deciding set of a sapping 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 7-6 (10/6) loss to the unseeded Garin.

After winning the first two sets, De Minaur also led 3-1 in the third-set tie-break and 5-3 in the fifth-set super-tiebreaker before eventually succumbing after four hours and 36 minutes — the second-longest match of the tournament.

“Tough match to lose. Was a big opportunity. Probably not too happy with myself right now,” the 23-year-old said.

“I didn’t play the important points right. It’s been kind of a recurring sort of event for a while now, so it’s something I’ve got to improve on.

“Two sets to love up, had break points in the third, had match points in the fifth. I mean, the match was full of chances, that’s for sure.”

Kubler’s run ends as Fritz continues winning streak

Australian tennis player Jason Kubler, wearing a white shirt and backwards cap, plays a backhand in front of Wimbledon's logo.
It was the first trip past the second round at a major for world number 99 Jason Kubler.(AP: Alastair Grant)

Meanwhile, Kubler’s fairytale Wimbledon campaign came to an end against in-form, big-hitting American Taylor Fritz.

The champion at Eastbourne two weeks ago, Fritz extended his grass-court winning streak to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kubler.

Kubler had been bidding to become the first qualifier to make the quarter-finals at the All England Club since fellow Australian Bernard Tomic in 2011.

But he found Fritz a bridge too far, as the world number 14 enhanced his status as a title dark horse with a clinical display on court one.

A one-time junior world number one enjoying a breakout season after finally receiving an injury-free run, 29-year-old Kubler’s reward for winning three qualifying matches, plus another three main-draw encounters, is a career-best pay day of 190,000 British pounds ($340,000).

ABC/AAP

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