In celebration of reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open, Karen Khachanov raised his arms and stood on the court. Nearby, Nick Kyrgios used a set of rackets to vent some of his anger over the so-close-yet-so-far outcome.
First, Kyrgios banged his piece of equipment against the ground repeatedly after Khachanov’s final point of their 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4 loss. Kyrgios pulled out yet another racket from his bag, threw himself back, and smacked that one to the sideline as well.
Kyrgios was eliminated in a high-calibre, wild quarterfinal that started on Tuesday night and ended at Arthur Ashe Stadium more than three and a half hours later at around one in the morning ET on Wednesday. Kyrgios had previously defeated the defending champion, Daniil Medvedev, at Flushing Meadows.
It is simply devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking,” remarked Australian Kyrgios, 27, who finished second at Wimbledon in July. “Really, most tournaments throughout the year are a waste of time. Simply show up to a Grand Slam by running up. That’s how people will remember you.
Khachanov responded, “rackets were flying,” when asked about Kyrgios’ expression of dissatisfaction, adding, “I understand the anguish for him.”
Two spectators were ejected from the game early on after one cut the other’s hair in the stands. By the finish, the late-arriving spectators were cheering enthusiastically for Kyrgios. “Once again, ladies and gentlemen: Respect both the players,” chair umpire James Keothavong begged during a play in the fourth set.
“I was organised. The No. 27 seeded Khachanov, who has lost his last two matches in major quarterfinals against No. 23 Kyrgios, said: “I was expecting that the fans would be more for him, that he was the favourite in their view.
On Friday, Khachanov will compete against No. 5 Casper Ruud for a spot in the championship game.
Khachanov exclaimed, “I’m incredibly proud of myself.” “I truly paid attention from the start to the finish.
He and Kyrgios both have thunderous serves, and they have a combined total of 61 aces (31 by Kyrgios). It was only the second US Open men’s match featuring players who had 30 or more aces since aces were first documented in 1991. The other was in the 2004 quarterfinals between Andy Roddick and Joachim Johansson (30) (34).
In addition, Kyrgios and Khachanov have won 138 matches overall (75 by Kyrgios).
Real game-changers in terms of statistics were Kyrgios’ 58 unforced mistakes and Khachanov’s 31. And of the nine break points he faced, Khachanov saved 7 of them.
With his Wimbledon victory and two recent triumphs over No. 1 Medvedev, including one in the fourth round that forced him to abandon his title defence, Kyrgios became a favourite to win his first Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows.
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, the All England Club prohibited all players from Belarus, Russia, and Khachanov’s homeland from competing in Wimbledon this year. When the US Open began, Caesars Sportsbook listed his odds of winning at 150-1.
Khachanov defeated Kyrgios by obtaining crucial serve breaks in the final games of the first and third sets. Following the opening, Kyrgios complained of knee pain and received assistance from a trainer.
When play continued, he didn’t seem to be suffering any consequences and broke early in the second.
At 4-all in the third set, Kyrgios had another opportunity to break, but he failed to do so after making a forehand error and then spiking his racket. After losing the set with a backhand into the net two games later, he sat in his changeover chair, flung a drink, dumped his racket, and received a warning from Keothavong for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
As Kyrgios served in the fourth set, Khachanov was leading 6-5 and two points away from a victory. Kyrgios managed to hang on and won the subsequent tiebreaker to set up a fifth set.
Khachanov then broke to start the final set, quickly went up 3-1, and then left.
“Expectations increase as you go deeper, he remarked. “I moved in that direction.