Nick Kyrgios says he feels ‘composed’ and ‘mature’ as he eases past Brandon Nakashima to reach Wimbledon quarterfinals

It was a more subdued performance from Kyrgios on Center Court compared to his fiery match with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday, and the Australian admitted he was far from his best as he prevailed 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7 -2) 3-6 6-2.

When he unleashed a forehand volley on his first match point in the fifth set, Kyrgios showed real signs of emotion — looking at the crowd and roaring with delight.

The victory was also very difficult, as the 27-year-old looked to be struggling with a shoulder problem throughout the match and needed treatment from the physio at 3-2 in the third set.

“I need a glass of wine for sure tonight,” he admitted in his on-court interview after the match.

Next up for Kyrgios is Chile’s Cristian Garin, who became the first man at this year’s tournament to come back from two sets down when he defeated Australian Alex de Minaur.

Kyrgios has now reached his first grand slam quarterfinal in seven years and remains unbeaten in all of his five-set encounters at Wimbledon.

“Now, I’m mostly just smiling and laughing to myself on the far side, knowing I’m locked in an all-out battle,” he told reporters. “In the past I didn’t enjoy that… I was almost enjoying the competitiveness (today).”

American Nakashima, playing in his first fourth-round match at a grand slam, claimed the first set with the first break point of the match, but Kyrgios, despite grabbing his shoulder several times, fought back break at the beginning of the second.

The serve proved to be Kyrgios’ best weapon, with an ace clocking 137 miles per hour as he saw out the set and leveled the match.

There were few chances for either player to break in the third set, but Kyrgios gained the upper hand in the tie break, hitting a cross-court forehand out of Nakashima’s reach to continue the match.

The 20-year-old, however, was far from done and broke for a 4-3 lead in the fourth. What followed was a strange passing game in which Kyrgios appeared to tank the rest of the set with slow serves and lackluster ground shots.

“Complete rope-a-dope tactic,” he later explained. “I just threw that service game. I knew he was in a rhythm, he was starting to get the better of me and I just wanted to throw him a little bit.”

That meant the match went to a decider, only for Kyrgios to produce some of his best tennis as Nakashima faded.

A double break of serve laid the foundation for victory, and Kyrgios finished the match with 35 aces — taking his tally for the tournament to 103 — and 79 winners

He will now compete in his second Wimbledon quarterfinal and first since 2014; then, he famously defeated Rafael Nadal in the fourth round as a 19-year-old debutant.

His performance on Monday may not have carried the same infectious, pulsating energy as his victory over Nadal, but it was a gutsy victory nonetheless.

“It wasn’t anywhere near my best performance level-wise, but I’m very happy to get through,” Kyrgios said. “I really fought today.”

For the second time at Wimbledon this year, Kyrgios had to go to five sets.

Controversy tends to follow Kyrgios throughout his tennis career and this year’s Wimbledon was no exception.

He was fined $4,000 for a verbal profanity in his fight with Tsitsipas, adding to the $10,000 he was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct after spitting at a fan he said disrespected him during his first round against Paul Jubb.

But Kyrgios acknowledged he is a different player and man to the one Nadal faced eight years ago, as evidenced by the calm exterior he displayed on Monday.

Earlier this year, he revealed the battles with mental health issues he has faced during his career, recounting his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as self-harm.

On Monday, he could take a moment to reflect on what he described as his “roller coaster” journey.

“Look, there was a time where I had to go out to a pub at 4am to play Nadal in the second round,” Kyrgios said.

“My agent had to come and take me out of the pub at 4am before I played my match on Center Court at Wimbledon.

“I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure. I think it’s the daily habits and the people around me … Now, to sit here in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, it feels good, the feeling being composed, the feeling of being mature and having that around me, I’m very blessed and I feel comfortable in my own skin.”

Against Garin, a player three places below him in the world rankings but with little experience on the sport’s biggest stages, Kyrgios could reach the final four of a grand slam for the first time.

That would be a significant moment for a player accustomed to riding the highs and lows of a professional tennis career.