All in all, Tuesday was chock-full of significant events, and the most noteworthy winner had to be 144th-ranked Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who used 37 aces and a have-no-fear approach to beat Nadal 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 for a quarterfinal berth.
"I was in a bit of a zone out there," said Kyrgios, the lowest-ranked player to beat the No. 1 man at any Grand Slam tournament in 22 years.
"You've got to believe you can win the match from the very start, and I definitely thought that," the 6-foot-4 Kyrgios said. "I'm playing some unbelievable tennis on the grass."
Playing in only his fifth major tournament he got into the field thanks to a wild-card invitation Kyrgios is the first man to reach the quarterfinals in his Wimbledon debut in 10 years. He's also the first teenager to defeat the top-ranked man at a Slam since Nadal was 19 when he beat Roger Federer at the 2005 French Open.
"We keep saying, 'Who's the next guy?' And I think we may have found him," seven-time major champion John McEnroe said on the BBC broadcast.
On Wednesday, he faces No. 8 Milos Raonic of Canada, another man never before this far at Wimbledon. The other men's quarterfinals: seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer against good friend and Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss matchup; defending champion Andy Murray against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov; and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic against No. 26 Marin Cilic.
The women's quarterfinals Wednesday: No. 3 Simona Halep against 2013 runner-up Sabine Lisicki, and No. 9 Angelique Kerber against No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard. The semifinal on the other side of the draw was established Tuesday: 2011 champion Petra Kvitova against No. 23 Lucie Safarova.
Kerber edged Sharapova 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 Tuesday. Sharapova made 49 unforced errors, 38 more than Kerber. Still, the 2004 champion saved one match point at 5-2 in the final set, then five more at 5-4, before pushing a backhand long to end it.
"I felt like I worked too hard within the match to let it go the easy way. So I did everything I could in the end to try to save those," Sharapova said. "I did, but I didn't save the last one."
Roger Federer (4), Switzerland, def. Tommy Robredo (23), Spain, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Stan Wawrinka (5), Switzerland, def. Feliciano Lopez (19), Spain, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-3. Milos Raonic (8), Canada, def. Kei Nishikori (10), Japan, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Nick Kyrgios, Australia, def. Rafael Nadal (2), Spain, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Simona Halep (3), Romania, def. Zarina Diyas, Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-0. Sabine Lisicki (19), Germany, def. Yaroslava Shvedova, Kazakhstan, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Angelique Kerber (9), Germany, def. Maria Sharapova (5), Russia, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4.
Lucie Safarova (23), Czech Republic, def. Ekaterina Makarova (22), Russia, 6-3, 6-1. Petra Kvitova (6), Czech Republic, def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Czech Republic, 6-1, 7-5.
• Men's and women's quarterfinals, 5 a.m., ESPN and ESPN2