Rafael Nadal ran out of comebacks at Wimbledon, losing to a brash, big-serving, between-the-legs-hitting 19-year-old kid who might just be a future star.
Maria Sharapova, somehow, seemed on the verge of a turnaround despite a flurry of unforced errors, saving six match points before finally succumbing on the seventh with — what else? — a missed shot.
And in the most striking sight of a memorable day of departures by past Wimbledon champions, Serena Williams couldn’t get the ball over the net in a doubles match with her sister Venus, stopping after three games because of what was called a viral illness.
All in all, Tuesday was chock-full of significant events, and the most noteworthy winner had to be 144th-ranked Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who used 37 aces and a have-no-fear approach to beat Nadal 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 for a quarterfinal berth.
“I was in a bit of a zone out there,” said Kyrgios, the lowest-ranked player to beat the No. 1 man at any Grand Slam tournament in 22 years.
The women’s quarterfinals today has: No. 3 Simona Halep against 2013 runner-up Sabine Lisicki, and No. 9 Angelique Kerber against No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard.
The semifinal on the other side of the draw was established Tuesday: 2011 champion Petra Kvitova against No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kerber edged Sharapova 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4. In a statement, Serena Williams said: “I am heartbroken I’m not able to continue in the tournament. I thought I could rally this morning because I really wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me.”
About 1 1/2 hours after leaving the court, Serena walked out of the All England Club, still wearing her white match outfit, and with a tournament towel draped around her waist. She got into a car and was driven away.
“Unfortunately, Serena has been feeling unwell for the past few days and she just couldn’t play to her potential today,” Venus said. “I’m really proud of her for trying because we just love playing doubles together.”