The Aussie was tabbed for a deep run but fell short on Day 6
Wimbledon, England—Nick Kyrgios is finding that natural talent can only take him so far, even with all the ability in the world, a nasty, worm-burning serve, incredible hands and a devilishly creative game that takes rhythm from his opponents—it’s no enough to get to the second week at a major that most pundits feel he won’t just be a factor at but win someday.

Back to the drawing board.

“As soon as I got out there, I just didn't feel good,” Kyrgios said after falling to 0-4 lifetime against Kei Nishikori on Day 6. “I don't know what it was. I mean, he played well. I always find it tough playing him. But, yeah, I didn't play well today.”

Tennis Express

Credit to Nishikori, who played brilliantly to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the third time, and credit Kyrgios, who tried everything to find ways around Japan’s top player. It just wasn’t meant to be for the player that many consider Australia’s biggest hope to bring home a Grand Slam title in the next five years.

It may have been a step in the right direction for Kyrgios, who has battled injuries all season and who got healthy and found some excellent form on the grass, but it’s also more proof that the chasm between winning majors and getting hype to win majors is still a yawning one.

This is the distance that Kyrgios, just 23, must make up in the next couple of years. On Saturday at Wimbledon it was clear that he still has a way to go.

“I just struggled with a lot of things today,” he said. “I just never settled. Obviously getting broken first game didn't help me. I just kind of panicked. Everything kind of just went south, I guess.”

Kyrgios shouldn’t hang his head too much about his performance on grass this season. He’s proven that he’s a contender for a Wimbledon title. Next he should put in the hard yards to ensure that he’s ready to take that next step in the years to come.

The Aussie reached the semifinals in Stuttgart where he fell to Roger Federer in a third-set breaker. At Queen’s Club he fell to Feliciano Lopez in two tight tiebreakers.

Here at Wimbledon he was tipped for a deep run but Nishikori dominated him from start to finish to end those hopes.

“It's not shattering,” Kyrgios said when asked if he was shattered by the loss. “I mean, it's not I'm going—I mean, I'm disappointed. Like I'm pissed off, of course. Like I wanted to do well. Not much I can do really. Yeah, I mean, it's disappointing. It is what it is right now.