Nick Kyrgios ‘devastated’ after quarterfinal defeat to Karen Khachanov as he destroys two rackets on court – CNN

Nick Kyrgios 'devastated' after quarterfinal defeat to Karen Khachanov as he destroys two rackets on court - CNN

And, as he crashed out in a five-set epic to Russian Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals, Kyrgios’ frustration at such an opportunity slipping away overflowed: he smashed two racquets on the floor, wobbling their frames beyond use.

Khachanov, meanwhile, stood on the opposite side of the net with his arms up, celebrating his 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3) 6-4 victory.

“I honestly feel awful,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I feel like I’ve let so many people down. These four tournaments [the grand slams] are the only ones that ever matter. It’s like you have to start all over again. I have to wait until Australian Open. It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone I know who wants me to win.”

Kyrgios hit 58 unforced errors compared to Khachanov's 31.

The first set went by in 35 minutes, dominated by big serves from both players until a pair of errors in Kyrgios’ final service game gave Khachanov the break and the set.

A forced break followed as the Australian took a medical break for treatment on his left knee before he rallied to level the match in the second set.

“Obviously I’ve been playing a lot of tennis the last couple of months … I just stepped on it and just tweaked it a little bit,” he later said of his knee. “Finally felt good. I got some Deep Heat on it. Everyone’s wearing a little bit now.”

Kyrgios’ momentum seemed to spill over in the third set when he converted two break points in Khachanov’s opening service game, then two more at 4-4. He failed to convert any of these chances, however, and it was Khachanov who seized his chance to break at 6-5 and retake the lead.

Disappointed by losing that set, Kyrgios smashed a bottle of water during the transition and received a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The 27-year-old has already been fined $18,500 for four separate offenses at this year’s US Open, including spitting, swearing and smashing his racket, according to Reuters.

Although Kyrgios forced a fifth set, Khachanov broke in the opening game, saved break points in his next two service games and closed out the match to advance to the semifinals of a grand slam for the first time. He will now face Casper Ruud on Friday for a place in the US Open final.

“I’m very happy, very proud that I could finish the match, I could take it,” Khachanov said. “Serving for the match [is] never easy Yeah, just very happy to take this step forward to make my first semi-final.”

Khachanov reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2019 and the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2021 but never progressed to a grand slam semi-final.

It also marked the end of Kyrgios’ most successful year in a grand slam following his run to the Wimbledon final in July.

“That’s all people remember at a grand slam, whether you win or you lose. I think almost every other tournament during the year is a waste of time really. You should just run and show up at a grand slam, that’s what you’re remembered for.”

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