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Nadal, Sharapova sent spinning out of Wimbledon
 
 
 

LONDON - Rafael Nadal's charged towards a third Wimbledon title came to a juddering halt in the fourth round on Tuesday when he was sensationally beaten by 19-year-old Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3.
Ranked 144th in the world, Kyrgios fired down 37 aces and played a fearless brand of tennis to topple the world number one following two hours and 58 minutes of exhilarating action. It was the first time since 1992 a man ranked outside the top 100 had beaten a world number one. Former world junior No 1 Kyrgios, competing at his first Wimbledon, will next play Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic for a place in the semi-finals.
Roger Federer's immaculate Wimbledon continued and Maria Sharapova's ended prematurely but in different ways they both displayed what makes them great champions on Tuesday. Federer was imperious as he glided serenely into the quarter-finals for the 12th time in his career, outclassing Spain's Tommy Robredo 6-1 6-4 6-4. The 32-year-old, yet to drop a set in four rounds, dazzled the crowd with his artistry, making the game look ludicrously easy against the 22nd best player in the world.
Women's fifth seed Sharapova, on the other hand, did not play well by her own high standards and her hopes of celebrating the 10th anniversary of her sole Wimbledon title with another one, were wiped away in a 7-6(4) 4-6 6-4 fourth-round defeat by Germany's Angelique Kerber.
With her power game slightly off-key, French Open champion Sharapova trailed 5-2 in the decider but with her back to the wall she fought like a wounded tiger, saving six match points before finally succumbing. "You need to play really 100 percent and you need to be ready for every single point," Kerber said.
Lucie Safarova led a Czech charge into the semi-finals in the bottom half of the women's draw, beating Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-1. She will face a fellow Czech in the semis, either former champion Petra Kvitova or unseeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
A round back, last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki survived a shoulder injury scare to beat Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 3-6 6-4. The German 19th seed took a medical time-out in the middle of a game at 1-1 in the decider, having her shoulder massaged while lying on the turf, but recovered to reach the quarter-final for the fifth time in five visits. She will play Romania's Simona Halep after the third seed raced to a 6-3 6-0 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas.
All eyes have been on defending champion Andy Murray's regal progress through the draw so far this year but Federer again issued a reminder that, when his game is flowing on a grass court there are few better sights in world sport. Eyeing a record eighth Wimbledon title, the maestro has yet to drop a set or a service game in his most impressive route to the quarter-finals since 2004.
Wawrinka will be playing a third match in three days on Wednesday. The fifth seed beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5) 7-6(7) 6-3 without any major alarms although the match ended with the players in a heated debate at the net.
Big-serving Milos Raonic celebrated Canada Day by becoming the first man from his country to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in the professional era, beating Japan's 10th seed Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-1 7-6(4) 6-3. Raonic will face Nick Kyrgios for a place in the semi-finals.
Serena Williams's disappointing tournament came to a worrying conclusion when the American had to retire from her third round doubles match with sister Venus. The 32-year-old served a whole game of double-faults and needed her blood pressure checked on court by a doctor before being led away, apparently close to tears.

 
 
on epaper page 18
 
 
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