Nick Kyrgios has made a typically volatile Wimbledon exit, the tennis enigma accused of tanking during a rollercoaster four-set fourth-round loss to classy Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
In a bizarre and at times listless performance, Kyrgios crashed to a 7-5 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (8-6) defeat on Monday, ending Australia’s participation in the singles for another year.
Kyrgios came into the match with hopes of winning the title after taking out world No.8 Milos Raonic with a scintillating third-round display.
His march to the last 16, following his heroics at the All England Club last year and another quarter-final charge at the Australian Open, had tennis greats Mats Wilander, John McEnroe and John Newcombe agreeing it would be crazy to write the young sensation off.
But Kyrgios fought with his players’ box, cursed himself as “so dumb, so dumb” and blatantly didn’t try in one return game during an eventful encounter on the very same Show Court Two in which he saved a grand slam-record nine match points to conquer Gasquet last year.
He saved two match points in the third set and held two set points in the fourth set to raise hopes of another famous comeback win.
Lightning didn’t strike twice, though, as Kyrgios surrendered the match with his 10th double-fault in the fourth-set tiebreaker, bowing out after two hours and 53 minutes.