Wimbledon 2014: Nick Kyrgios 'the real deal' says Pat Cash
Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios is "the future of tennis", according to former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.
Kyrgios, 19, saved nine match points - a record for the men's draw - to defeat 13th seed Richard Gasquet in five sets and reach the third round at Wimbledon.
"There is no doubt he's the real deal," fellow Australian Cash told BBC Sport. "He has unbelievable talent.
"I think he is the most talented player I've seen out of Australia since Mark Philippoussis."
Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, added: "He has incredible flair, a great touch and a fun attitude that gets people laughing. He has saved nine match points so he has some guts too."
|Multiple match points|
|The highest number of match points to have been saved by a winning singles player at Wimbledon is 11 in 1966 by Helga Schultze against Janine Lieffrig of France.The only other instances of nine of more match points being saved at a Grand Slam in the Open era are Chanda Rubin against Jana Novotna in 1995 at the French Open, and Vince Spadea against Florent Serra at the same event.|
Kyrgios, the world number 144 and the youngest player in the men's draw, served notice of his talent by knocking out Czech player Radek Stepanek, then ranked as the world number 52, in the first round of the 2013 French Open.
He was granted a wildcard to make his Wimbledon debut after winning the Nottingham Challenger event, after which he was tipped for stardom by British number one and Wimbledon defending champion Andy Murray.
On Thursday, spurred on by green and gold-clad Australian fans, he fought back from two sets down to beat Gasquet 3-6 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 7-5 10-8, saving match points in three separate service games.
"I was just thinking I need a big serve every time," said Kyrgios, who was the 2013 Australian Open junior champion.
"I was just thinking about going through my routine, coming up with something, going after it, playing aggressive. It's an amazing feeling. I played some unbelievable tennis today."
After the match Gasquet, the 2007 semi-finalist from France, tipped his opponent to become a top-five player in the future, but Kyrgios is setting his sights even higher.
"My goal is to become the number one player in the world," he added. "I think it's a massive stepping stone for me to finally reach the third round of a Grand Slam.
"Especially to come back from two sets to love down, it can be a building bridge for things to come."
Australia has not produced a Grand Slam men's champion since Lleyton Hewitt won Wimbledon in 2002. Is Kyrgios feeling the pressure?
"There's a little bit of pressure there, but at the same time it's all motivation. But I'm not really thinking too far ahead. I've got a long way to go still."