Melbourne, Australia: Nick Kyrgios is no longer just the kid who upset Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, he's also the teenager who beat the guy who beat Roger Federer at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios came back from two sets down and saved a match point to beat Andreas Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 8-6 on Sunday night, becoming the first Aussie to reach the last eight in the Melbourne Park men's draw since 2005, and the first male teenager since Federer in 2001 to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals.
His first words to a packed Hisense Arena, where the crowd chanted and screamed like football fans: "Thanks mate. Feels so good."
Seppi beat Federer in the third round — the 17-time Grand Slam winner's earliest exit at the Australian Open in 14 years — and was on course to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 40 majors when he had match point in the fourth set.
The 19-year-old Kyrgios had experience in coming back from 0-2 at Wimbledon — he saved nine match points in the second round against Richard Gasquet — where he also beat No. 1 Nadal in the fourth round en route to the quarterfinals on his debut at the grasscourt championship.
"I know that he had a lot of confidence, obviously, beating Roger," Kyrgios said. "Drawing all my experience from Wimbledon, coming back from two sets down, I knew I had the legs to do that."
"It's crazy," he later added, on reflection. "When I saw I had finally won the match it was incredible — it was the best feeling I ever had. It's just massive confidence."
Kyrgios will face the winner of the later fourth-round match between three-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray and No. 10-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.
Nadal and Maria Sharapova put earlier stumbles in Melbourne behind them with convincing fourth-round wins.
No.2-ranked Sharapova dropped serve in the first set before winning the last eight games of her 6-3, 6-0 fourth-round victory over No. 21-seeded Peng Shuai, advancing her to a showdown with Eugenie Bouchard, the most consistent player in women's majors last season.
Seventh-seeded Bouchard won nine of the first 10 games against Irina-Camelia Begu, but lost seven of the next nine. After serving a double-fault on set point to end the second, Bouchard took a short break before returning to complete a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 win.
"I gave myself a good, long hard look in the mirror," Bouchard said. "I said, 'Genie, this is unacceptable.' I really kind of kicked myself in the butt a little bit."
Momentum in Nadal's 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win over towering Kevin Anderson swung on two games at the end of the first set. Nadal fended off five break points to hold, and then broke the 2.03-meter-tall (6-foot-8) South African's serve to trigger his winning roll. He will next face No. 7 Tomas Berdych, who had a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over Bernard Tomic.
Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2009 and lost the finals in 2012 and last year, is coming off an extended injury layoff and says he's building as he goes — thankful he got through a tough five-setter in the second round against U.S. qualifier Tim Smyczek.
"The chance to be in the quarterfinals after a tough period of time for me is a fantastic result," Nadal said. "I was playing better than the days before. The way that I improved my level is not the most important thing; obviously the victory is."
Sharapova, coming off a win in the season-opening tournament in Brisbane, had a hiccup in the second round here when she had to save match points against Russian qualifier Alexandra Panova.
"I feel like something or someone gave me another chance," Sharapova said. "Getting to the quarters is really special."
Bouchard reached the semifinals or better at the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year. Sharapova lost in the fourth round of three majors in a season highlighted by winning the French Open, where she beat Bouchard in the semifinals.
Sharapova not that Bouchard was the most consistent player at the recent Grand Slams.
"She's playing really well, confident tennis. So aggressive," Sharapova said. "I have a tough match ahead of me, but I always look forward to that."
French Open finalist Simona Halep beat Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal against No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, who had a 6-3, 6-2 win over Julia Goerges.