Khachanov upsets a “devastated” Kyrgios in five sets in US Open quarter-finals

Karen Khachanov outlasts Nick Kyrgios in five sets on Tuesday to reach the US Open semi-finals. Khachanov will meet Casper Ruud on Friday

Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov, US Open 2022 Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov, US Open 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Having already taken out world No 1 Daniil Medvedev and with second seed Rafael Nadal also out, Nick Kyrgios was considered by many to be the favourite to win the US Open title.

Karen Khachanov had other ideas.

Khachanov ended Kyrgios’ hopes for Grand Slam glory by prevailing 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night. The Russian broke serve in the first game of the fifth set and consolidated it the rest of the way, ultimately crossing the finish line after three hours and 39 minutes of play.

This is Khachanov’s second victory against the Australian in a Grand Slam encounter, in three matches on the Tour. Khanachov already won at the Australian Open 2020 third round. All matches between the
opponents went to the deciding set.


Khachanov (30) and Kyrgios (31) combined for 61 aces while keeping their double faults to a minimum (three for the Russian and five for the Australian). There was hardly any separation there, but there was perhaps one key difference in the match: backing up second-serve points. Khachanov won 64 percent of the points when he had to toss in a second delivery, while Kyrgios won only 47 percent of the points in those situations.

As a result, Khachanov broke serve four times and was broken just twice.

“All credit to Karen,” Kyrgios praised. “He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. I thought he served really good today. Honestly (he is) probably the best server I played this tournament, the way he was hitting his spots under pressure.”

I’m just devastated, obviously. Just feel like it was either winning it all or nothing at all.

Nick Kyrgios

Even though Kyrgios did not reach the final as he did at Wimbledon, this was arguably an even better opportunity for a slam title since Novak Djokovic – and not even Nadal or Medvedev at this point in the tournament – was in the 27-year-old’s way. That may be why the loss was especially tough to take.

“I’m just devastated, obviously,” Kyrgios admitted. (I) just feel like it was either winning it all or nothing at all. I feel like I’ve just failed at this event right now. That’s what it feels like…. Like, it’s heartbreaking — not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.”

For Khachanov, the dream is still alive.

“It’s like one more step forward,” the world No 27 of reaching his first slam semi-final. “I’m really, really happy I could do it. Also I had to face and to beat Nick, who is playing [some of his] best tennis again. It obviously was a tough match to approach…. I just did it. I did the step forward. I made my first semifinal, so…I’m just really happy.”

US Open, other quarter-final results

  • Jannik Sinner vs. Carlos Alcaraz (Wednesday)
  • Andrey Rublev vs. Frances Tiafoe (Wednesday)
  • Casper Ruud beat Matteo Berrettini (13) 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4)

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