Cristian Garin feels Wimbledon quarter-final opponent Nick Kyrgios is “good for tennis” despite the controversy surrounding the Australian at SW19.
Kyrgios beat Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Monday to make the last eight at the All England Club for a second time, the same number of fines he has received during this tournament.
The world number 40 received a 10,000 US dollars (£8,260) punishment after he admitted to spitting in the direction of a spectator who had heckled him during the first-round tie against Paul Jubb, and a 4,000 dollars (£3,300) fine for swearing during Saturday’s fiery clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
A third punishment could be on the horizon given Kyrgios, who has regularly clashed with line judges at this grand slam, broke the strict dress code at Wimbledon when he wore red Air Jordan trainers and a red cap for an on-court interview following his most recent victory.
But Garin, who needed four hours and 34 minutes to stun Alex De Minaur in his fourth-round match, insisted: “I think Nick is very good player. For me, maybe the best serve on tour.
“Yeah, I’m in quarter-finals, you know you will play the best players in the world. He is for me one of the guys that I like to watch. He’s very good for tennis.
“I think Nick has to be seeded because he for me is one of the best players on the tour and on grass obviously. I mean, the opportunities you have to build. If we are in this round, we both beat good players.
“I don’t see like an opportunity. I just want to enjoy, play my best, and fight every point as I always do.”
Kyrgios stepped on court to face Nakashima with his fellow Australian De Minaur two sets up against Garin.
The Chilean produced a sensational comeback and saved two match points before he edged a thrilling tie-break to claim a 2-6 5-7 7-6 (3) 6-4 7-6 (6) victory.
“I look at it as a big opportunity,” Kyrgios admitted.
“Garin is obviously playing great tennis. I walked on Centre Court with seeing the score two sets to love De Minaur. They were in a battle.
“I was expecting to play Alex. I think Alex is a bit more comfortable on the grass. Then when I walked off the court and I got told it was Garin. It was surprising.
“I look at it as an opportunity but I need to do so many things before that match to get ready.”