Only when Kyrgios fired a forehand volley on his first match point in the fifth set did Kyrgios show real signs of emotion – watching the crowd roar with joy.
The win was also tough, as Kyrgios appeared to struggle with a shoulder problem throughout the match and required physio treatment in the third set 3-2.
In his on-court interview after the match, he admitted, “I want a glass of wine for tonight.”
Next up for Kyrgios is Chile’s Cristian Garin, who became the first man to return from two sets at this year’s tournament, beating Australian Alex de Minaur.
Kyrgios has now reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in seven years and is unbeaten in all six of his five-set appearances at Wimbledon.
“I’ve never lost a five-set match here – that’s what I was thinking,” he said. “I’ve been here before, I’ve done it before, and I’ve done it again.”
American Nakashima, playing in his first fourth-round match at a Grand Slam, claimed the first set with the first break point of the match, but Kyrgios returned with a break at the start, despite clutching his shoulder several times. Second.
The 27-year-old’s serve proved to be his best weapon, with an ace serving on the set at 137 mph and leveling the match.
Either player had a few chances to break in the third set, but Kyrgios took the lead in the tie-break and slapped a cross-court forehand just beyond Nakashima’s reach to move the match forward.
20-year-old Nakashima, however, was too far away and broke in the fourth to lead 4-3. What followed was a bizarre course of play in which Kyrgios appeared to tank the remainder of the set with slow serve and shoddy ground shots.
This meant that the match went to a decider, only for Kyrgios to produce some of his best tennis and set up victory with a double break.
He will now play his second Wimbledon quarterfinal and first since 2014; Next, he famously defeated Rafael Nadal in the fourth round as a 19-year-old debutante.
His performance on Monday didn’t have the same infectious, pulsating energy as his win against Nadal, but it was a resounding victory nonetheless.
“It wasn’t anywhere near my level of best performance, but I’m very happy to have achieved it,” Kyrgios said. “I fought really hard today.”