Despite an impressive run at the US Open, Kyrgios’ dream of a Grand Slam victory has come to an end following his gruelling five-set loss to Karen Khachanov on Wednesday, September 7 in the men’s quarterfinals.
Khachanov claimed a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 victory over Kyrgios in five sets in a match fraught with on-court drama, with Kyrgios complaining of a leg injury in the first set.
“I can’t walk without pain,” he was heard saying.
“I don’t want to f****** play through this s***.”
Kyrgios managed to push through the injury to secure a win in the second set to even the scores.
Following a third-set victory by Khachanov, Kyrgios fought back to a fourth-set win resulting in a tie break and a fifth-set decider.
Although Kyrgios had the advantage of serving first, Khachanov broke the Australian’s serve in the opening game of the fifth set, leaving Kyrgios unable to recover.
Khachanov has done it!
The No. 27 seed defeats Kyrgios in a tough five-setter. pic.twitter.com/psE7pGG3bc
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2022
Following the match Khachanov spoke of the mammoth duration of the hard-fought contest, claiming “that’s the only way to beat Nick, I think”.
“It was a crazy match, I was expecting it would be like this – I’m ready to run, to fight, to play five sets,” he said.
“We played again, almost four hours, and that’s the only way to beat Nick, I think.
“I tried to stay focused on the match – I had some opportunities in the fourth set, he played an amazing tiebreak and what can I do? I can stay, focus, and try to win the next set.
“I’m really proud of myself – I was really focused from the beginning to the end, and I got the win.”
Although Kyrgios remained relatively calm and collected throughout the epic five-set match, he appeared to lose his composure at the end when he was spotted smashing two tennis racquets.
Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge was left unimpressed by the unsportsmanlike display.
“That’s not great, that’s not great at all,” Woodbridge said.
“I don’t know… what do you want to say about that.
“That was not very positive, what we just watched.”
A meltdown from Nick Kyrgios after losing in the US Open quarterfinal! pic.twitter.com/hUTaihlTBF
— Third and Five Podcast (@thirdandfivepod) September 7, 2022
Khachanov will next play fifth-seed Casper Ruud in the semifinals.
Despite his US Open campaign coming to an end, Kyrgios has received high praise from four-time US Open champion and sporting legend John McEnroe who labelled the 27-year-old “a genius on the court”.
McEnroe’s comments follow Kyrgios’ impressive victory against defending champion Daniil Medvedev, in what sports commentators have called the “best match of his career”.
Following a career filled with on-court antics that have often overshadowed his achievements in tennis, McEnroe said he is “on a high” to see Kyrgios “this professional”.
“He’s 27 and potentially there are a bunch of years where he can do his thing, and boy did he do it last night,” he said in reference to Kyrgios’ win over Medvedev.
“The guy is a genius on the court. He doesn’t need a coach, he did an unbelievable job tactically.
“He played a lot of matches where he wasn’t giving it his all and now you see what he is capable of when he does, when he trains, when he is in shape. The guy is phenomenal.”