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LONDON – A day after Dustin Brown wowed Wimbledon with his go-for-broke style in beating Rafael Nadal, another shot-making showman made his mark to reach the fourth round.
Nick Kyrgios — the 20-year-old Australian who stunned Nadal here last year — served 34 aces and hit flashy winners from all over the court to upset seventh-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Friday to reach the round of 16 at the All England Club for the second year in a row.
"I don't fear anyone," the 26th-seeded Kyrgios said. "I definitely feel I'm playing better tennis than last year."
Also advancing were French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who swept Ferando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; Richard Gasquet, who dismantled No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court; and Belgium's David Goffin, who downed Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets.
In women's play, former champion Maria Sharapova beat 29th-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-4, 6-3 and has yet to drop a set. The first woman to make it to the fourth round was American Coco Vandeweghe, who beat former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-0. It's the first time the 47th-ranked Vandeweghe has reached the final 16 at a Grand Slam tournament.
Also in action Friday on Centre Court were top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic, who faced Australia's Bernard Tomic, and women's No. 1 Serena Williams, who was up against Britain's Heather Watson.
It was the first time Kyrgios has beaten Raonic after two defeats, including in last year's Wimbledon quarterfinals.
"I didn't want to lose again," the Australian said. "I thought it was a good day. I played some really, really good tennis."
The battle on Court 2 between Kyrgios and Raonic featured two of the young stars of the game and two of the biggest servers in tennis. While Raonic was stolid and businesslike, Kyrgios was as flamboyant and expressive as ever.
He went for spectacular winners, bantered with the crowd, pumped his fists and shouted. He hit three aces in a row in two different games. He hit second serves at 124 mph. He waved his arms in the middle of a point that he lost. He hit a between-the-legs shot from close to the net that went long.
Kyrgios received a code violation in the second set after slamming his racket to the ground so hard it bounced over the back wall into the crowd. A male fan caught it and handed it back to him.
"I don't want to hurt anyone," Kyrgios said. "It was a good catch by the fan anyway. "
Kyrgios came out during the second set sporting a Wimbledon headband in the club's official green and purple colors — only to be told that it was too colorful for the tournament's dress code. So he turned the headband inside out and wore it that way for the rest of the match.
"They told me to turn it around, so I turned it around," Krygios said.
The match turned in Kyrgios' favor when he broke for a 6-5 lead in the second set. Raonic was at the net and poised for a forehand volley but let the ball go and watched Kyrgios' forehand pass fall in for a winner. Kyrgios hit three aces in a row in the next game to close out the set.
Raonic finished with 18 aces, but broke only once out of seven chances. Raonic had 62 total winners, one more than Kyrgios, but the Australian had only 13 unforced errors, compared to 21 for the Canadian.
Kyrgios next faces Gasquet, who thoroughly dominated Dimitrov in a match between two players with classic one-handed backhands. Gasquet extended his career record to 5-0 against Dimitrov, who reached the semifinals here last year but has slumped in recent months.
A year ago, Kyrgios rallied from two sets down and saved nine match points to beat Gasquet in the second round.
'Whoever I play," Kyrgios said, "I'm just going to have the same mindset: serve well and play aggressive. If I'm doing that, then I've got a pretty high chance of winning the match."