Australian 19-year-old Kyrgios produced one of the greatest shocks in the tournament’s history by beating world No 1 Rafael Nadal yesterday to set up a quarter-final against Milos Raonic.
Coming to Wimbledon as the world No 144, and on a wild-card entry to the main draw, Kyrgios has surpassed all expectations by reaching the last eight.
Three-time Wimbledon champion McEnroe, now commentating at the tournament for the BBC, reckons Kyrgios had the look of a champion about him as he demolished Nadal’s title hopes.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a while,” McEnroe said. “We keep saying, ‘Who’s the next guy?’, and I think we found that guy right now.
“I’ve been hearing about this guy for years. I’d only seen him play a little bit.
“But that was absolutely stunning, to see what he did to the world No 1. How did he keep that up?
“This is where it gets a little tricky. But he actually had this feeling about him. I could see it from the commentators’ box, that he absolutely believed he was going to win this match, and he’s acting to me like he can win this tournament.
“The last guy I saw like this is... Boris Becker, that young teenager, no fear whatsoever – ‘no matter what comes my way I’m going to be better than them’.”
Becker, at the age of 17, won Wimbledon in 1985, and triumphed again aged 18 and 21.
He is coaching Novak Djokovic now, and, should Kyrgios get to the final, Becker could be in the opposite camp.
Kyrgios condemned Nadal to a 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 defeat, completing three miserable years at Wimbledon for the five-time finalist.
The Canberra native got the better of the 14-time grand slam champion to book a last-eight clash with Canada’s Raonic.
He is the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world No 1 at a slam since Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in 1992 at Wimbledon.
He also produced the shot of the tournament so far with a casual flick between his legs midway through the second set from the baseline.
Kyrgios said he will text his doubting mother a message after his win.
The 19-year-old said: “Last night I was reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me.
“It actually made me a bit angry; you would think he’s in a whole other level compared to me.
“I just believed in myself that I could create some opportunities and I took them under pressure.
“I haven’t spoken to her yet, but I’ll just text her a smiley face.”
Wild-card entrant Kyrgios will leave having reached at least world No 65.
The ebullient showman, who was ranked 838th in the world at the start of 2013, was neither overawed by Nadal nor overwhelmed by Centre Court, firing 37 aces.
Raonic exploited his serve advantage to see off Kei Nishikori in four sets and book his second successive grand slam quarter-final appearance.
The 23-year-old eighth seed blasted 35 aces en route to a 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory over his Japanese opponent.
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka zipped into an all-Swiss quarter-final, with time to spare to watch their country’s World Cup match against Argentina.
Federer dispatched Spain’s Tommy Robredo in straight sets yesterday lunchtime, with compatriot Wawrinka accounting for Feliciano Lopez in similar fashion.
Federer booked his 12th Wimbledon quarter-final with a commanding 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory over Robredo, avenging his 2013 US Open defeat to the world No 22.
The 32-year-old admitted he would put his feet up to watch Switzerland.
Australian Open champion Wawrinka powered past 19th seed Lopez 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (9/7) 6-3, admitting winning the first tie-break was crucial to his victory.
The fifth seed hailed lining up a quarter-final against compatriot Federer, especially on the same day Switzerland faced a World Cup test, which they only lost in extra-time.
“It’s going to be fun, I hope, on grass at Wimbledon; it’s going to be something special,” said Wawrinka of the last-eight clash with Federer.