In a match, and a tournament, that Nick Kyrgios will never forget, came a shot that he may never repeat. If there was a sign that the Australian teenager could do no wrong, it was this between-the-legs shot - or “tweener”, as they are known - in the seventh game of the second set.
Rafael Nadal was serving, down a set, but up 40-0. The Spaniard hit a forehand down the middle of the court off the Kyrios return, whereupon the wildcard casually flicked the ball through his legs for an outrageous winner. In the BBC commentary box, former Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman, hailed it as not just the shot of the tournament, but “the shot of the year’’.
Kyrgios raised his arms in triumph, twirled for the crowd, then smiled and enjoyed a quiet laugh after a trick shot to remember. It was not the high-percentage shot to play, but that rarely bothers the showman with the rockstar attitude, and game.
It was a winner. So is he.
The 19-year-old - who was making his Wimbledon debut - clinched a fearless 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory to become the first wildcard in 10 years to make the quarter-finals at the All England Club. He is also the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world No.1 since Andrei Olhovskiy stunned Jim Courier in the Wimbledon third round in 1992.
Former winners John McEnroe and Pat Cash believe Kyrgios can go on to emulate Boris Becker by winning the Wimbledon title as a teenager.
Kyrgios is from a tight-knit family but his mother and brother Christos have remained home in Canberra while his father George and sister Halimah are at Wimbledon with him. His mum was on record as saying she didn't think he could beat Nadal.
Asked what he would say to his mother Nill after the win, Kyrgios said: "I’ll just send her a smiley face."
Nill's verdict on the shot?
"It didn't impress Nadal very much did it ... that's a bit cheeky Nick."
Canberra Times reporter David Polkinghorne wrote that the freakish shot that had gone viral on social media by the end of the match.
"It was an audacious flick between his legs that didn't just have the nerve to go in, but go on to be an unplayable winner as well," he wrote.
Halimah Kyrgios sat next to her father in anguish for much of the three-hour battle on centre court. She said the pair had been quietly confident of Nick’s chances against Nadal but, seeing him shine so brightly on the biggest stage, was an emotional experience.
"I just started crying, to be honest," Halimah said.
"I’ve never been so shocked an overwhelmed at the same time.
"He played the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play.
"I wasn’t actually surprised because he’s been playing amazing the last two weeks anyway.
"We’re so proud of him."
Halimah wasn’t surprised to see her brother lap up the big occasion.
"He loves the crowd," she said.
"I think that’s one of the ways that helped him win."
- with AAP