Nick Kyrgios angrily smashed not one, but two of his rackets after he was knocked out of the US Open by Karen Khachanov in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Aussie star was hoping to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows with another impressive victory at the tournament but ultimately went down at the end of a five-set thriller that lasted for almost four hours.
Kyrgios lost the first and third sets but managed to level up in the second and fourth sets as the contest went to a decisive fifth set, which went the way of Khachanov to mark the end of the road at the US Open for his opponent. The former was visibly furious with his own performance in the immediate aftermath of the match as he smashed two rackets in a fit of rage that was not picked up by the courtside TV cameras.
The two players exchanged a sporting handshake before Kyrgios’s frustrations boiled over, with the 27-year-old opting to throw his racket against the floor until it was bent wildly out of shape in a video clip shared on social media. He went on to pick up another and gave it the same treatment before finally packing his bags and making his way off the court.
It was obviously a hugely disappointing loss for Kyrgios, who was among the favourites to win this year’s US Open in the absences of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out at the hands of home favourite Frances Tiafoe earlier this week. Khachanov, meanwhile, will now be tasked with preparing for his first major semi-final against Casper Ruud as he seeks a maiden Grand Slam triumph at Flushing Meadows.
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Khachanov edged a tight first set after the first break point of the match went his way, with Kyrgios requiring treatment afterwards due to an injury scare. He went on to recover by levelling proceedings in set two before missing a number of opportunities to break on his way to losing the third set.
Kyrgios battled back in the fourth to force an all-important fifth set, in which Khachanov stayed cool under pressure to book his place in the last four of the US Open for the very first time. The result marked an unfortunate blow for Kyrgios, who insisted after the match that he was heartbroken to have thrown away his hopes of achieving Grand Slam glory by failing to reach the semi-finals.
“I’m just devastated, just feel like it was either winning it all or nothing at all, to be honest,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I feel like I’ve just failed at this event right now, that’s what it feels like.
“Honestly, I don’t even really care about any other tournament. Like, I feel like at the Grand Slams, now having success at a Grand Slam, it’s just like no other tournament really matters. I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time really.
“You should just run up and show up at a Grand Slam, that’s what you’re remembered by. It’s just devastating, like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.”
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