Nick Kyrgios has seen off three-time quarter-finalist Feliciano Lopez to set up a fourth-round Wimbledon blockbuster with Andy Murray.
Kyrgios returned to the All England Club on so-called People’s Sunday to complete a lively 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4 victory over the Spaniard to give Australia two men in the last 16 for the first time in 12 years.
Bernard Tomic was already safely into the second week after surging to a 6-2 6-4 6-4 win over 14th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut on Saturday.
Kyrgios’s match was less routine.
The 21-year-old firebrand had branded his box “retarded” before darkness stopped play on Saturday night with the scores locked at a set apiece.
Kyrgios had also received a code violation for belting a ball in frustration and required a medical time-out before directing a verbal outburst at his entourage.
But the 15th seed was all business on Sunday, his supreme level of control and shot-making instead driving Lopez to constantly berate his box in exasperation.
Kyrgios pressed hard to secure a vital break in the eighth game before serving out the pivotal third set and celebrating with an energetic double fist pump.
He treated fans to the fastest serve seen on court one all championships, a 219kph thunderbolt, and then produced a magical backhand crosscourt pass to break the 22nd seed again for 2-1 in the fourth set.
Serving bombs and finding ridiculous angles on his groundstrokes, Kyrgios remained a study in concentration until closing out the weather-delayed encounter after two hours and 42 minutes.
Murray now stands between Kyrgios and a second quarter-final appearance in two years after the second-seeded home hope and 2013 champion ended the run of fellow Australian John Millman in straight sets on Saturday.
But with Tomic up against Frenchman Lucas Pouille on Monday, Australia will have two men playing for spots in the quarter-finals for the first time since Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis in 2004.
After a dramatic and controversial first week, suddenly Kyrgios and Tomic are two wins away from an all-Australian semi-final.
The winner of the Kyrgios-Murray showdown will meet either seventh seed Richard Gasquet, fellow former semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or American John Isner.
If Tomic can get past Pouille, the 19th seed will likely confront world former finalist and world No.10 Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.