Wimbledon: Taylor Fritz ends U.S. men major quarterfinal drought; Nick Kyrgios escapes

Taylor Fritz
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Taylor Fritz became the first U.S. man to make a major quarterfinal since the January 2020 Australian Open, reaching the last eight at Wimbledon and setting up a matchup with Rafael Nadal.

Fritz, the No. 11 seed, dispatched 99th-ranked Australian qualifier Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday to reach his first major quarterfinal. He’ll face Nadal, who swept No. 21 seed Botic van de Zandschulp to move three wins away from a third consecutive major title.

Fritz, 24, beat Nadal in the Indian Wells final in March, marking the biggest tournament title for a U.S. man in more than a decade. Both men played that match injured.

“I’ve kind of been in these moments before, Indian Wells semifinal, Indian Wells final. I’d say probably it feels about the same as like a Slam quarterfinal,” said Fritz, who hasn’t faced a top-50 player through four rounds. “It makes the occasion bigger if I am playing Nadal.”

After a French Open second round loss, Fritz lost his opening matches in consecutive grass-court tournaments to start June and dealt with right knee tendinitis.

“It was a low point,” he said. “I kept telling myself that I’ll find my tennis.”

He did, taking the title in Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon. Now he’s on an eight-match win streak and hasn’t dropped a set at Wimbledon.

WIMBLEDON DRAWS: Women | Men

Minutes before Fritz advanced, Australian Nick Kyrgios powered through a right shoulder injury, outlasting American Brandon Nakashima 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2.

“It wasn’t anywhere near my best performance,” said Kyrgios, who took a medical timeout for the shoulder in the third set, when he received treatments during multiple changeovers. “I need a glass of wine for sure tonight.”

Asked about the shoulder, Kyrgios said he took painkillers and chalked it up to a lot of recent matches. This is his fourth grass-court event since the start of June. Many top players enter one (or zero) grass-court lead-up events before Wimbledon.

Kyrgios, maybe the most controversial tennis pro, was also reflective upon making his first major quarterfinal since 2015.

“There was a time where I was having to be forced out of a pub at 4 a.m. to play Nadal second round,” in 2019, he said. “My agent had to come get me out of a pub at 4 a.m. before I played my match on Centre Court Wimbledon. I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure.”

Kyrgios, now 6-0 in Wimbledon five-setters, next plays 43rd-ranked Chilean Cristian Garin. Garin erased a two-set deficit, and two match points, to oust No. 19 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in a fifth-set tiebreak.

“I was really excited to play de Minaur,” Kyrgios said. “I came on court when he was two sets to love up, so I was actually expecting to play him.”

Nakashima, a 20-year-old ranked No. 56, was bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to make a major quarterfinal since Andy Roddick in 2003.

The last American woman left, No. 20 seed Amanda Anisimova, swept Serena Williams vanquisher Harmony Tan of France 6-2, 6-3.

Anisimova, into her first major quarter since her 2019 French Open semifinal run at age 17, gets 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep next.

Halep routed No. 4 Paula Badosa of Spain 6-1, 6-2, leaving No. 3 Ons Jabeur as the lone top-10 women’s seed in the final eight. Halep is the lone woman left in the draw with major final experience.

It’s the second consecutive major that one of the eight women’s quarterfinalists is a top-10 player.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph (121 kph) in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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