Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McEnroe Backs Teen Sensation to Follow in Becker's Footsteps

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McEnroe Backs Teen Sensation to Follow in Becker's Footsteps

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Tennis Correspondent at Wimbledon

JOHN McENROE believes Nick Kyrgios can emulate Boris Becker and become a teenage Wimbledon champion after his incredible triumph over Rafael Nadal on Centre Court.

The world No144 won 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 to become the first player outside the top 100 to defeat the sport's No1 at a Grand Slam since Andrei Olhovsky's victory over Jim Courier in the third round here in 1992.

Kyrgios is 19, two years older than Becker was when he won the first of his three Wimbledon titles in 1985 and McEnroe thinks the Australian could also go all the way.

"The last guy I saw like this was Boris Becker with no fear and he is acting to me like he can win the whole tournament," said McEnroe, a three-time Wimbledon champion.

"Amazingly, it was Nadal who looked a bit weary in the fourth set and for Kyrgios to lose the third and then win the match was superb. You are watching someone who is going to be a big star in the future."

Kyrgios got a wild card to get into the tournament and the way he handled the occasion has marked him out as a special talent.

When he stepped up to serve for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set, across the net was Nadal, a man who had just won a ninth French Open title. Despite this daunting prospect Kyrgios fired off four big serves culminating in an ace to claim victory over the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

To fulfil McEnroe's prediction Kyrgios needs to beat No8 seed Milos Raonic tonight then either Roger Federer or Stanislas Wawrinka in the semis and win a final against probably either Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic.

However, Kyrgios knows Canadian Raonic has a fearsome power game of his own.

"Milos probably has the best serve in the world and I am just going to go out there and have fun again," said Kyrgios. "There will be a lot of walking from side to side from his serve, and there's going to be a lot of winners in the match. It's going to be hard to find rhythm. …

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