Nick Kyrgios: “It’s like you’ve got to start again. I have to wait until Australian Open”

The Australian said losing in the US Open quarter-finals to Karen Khachanov was hard to take, because the Grand Slams mean so much

Nick Kyrgios distraught USO 2022 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Nick Kyrgios wears his heart on his sleeve, something clear to see in any of his matches, whether he’s fist pumping after banging down aces or an tweener winner, or whether he’s smashing racquets, as he did at the end of his five-set defeat by Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Of late, he’s been channelling his energy into his tennis and the results have followed; a brilliant run to the final at Wimbledon followed by victory in Washington and then to the last eight at the US Open, including a win over world No 1 Daniil Medvedev along the way.

And it’s a sign of how much tennis means to him right now that he could hardly even think about what his schedule might be like for the rest of the year, if there’s a schedule at all. For Kyrgios right now, it’s all about the big events.

“Honestly I don’t even really care about any other tournament,” he said. “I feel like at the Grand Slams, now having success at a Grand Slam, it’s just like, no other tournament really matters.

“It’s like you get better, you get worse, then at a Grand Slam none of it matters. You either win or lose. People don’t really care if you got better on the day or you lost four in the fifth or played one of the best matches of the tournament. You lost, so… that’s all people remember at a Grand Slam, whether you win or you lose.

“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.”

Nick Kyrgios reacts USO 2022

Kyrgios: “I feel the slams are the only ones that matter”

That might be bad news for Tokyo, where Kyrgios is due to play next, in the first week of October, or indeed any events in the next two months as the Australian figures out what he wants to do next.

And Kyrgios said seeing what he’s really capable of over the past few months makes losing tight matches at important stages of slams even more difficult to take.

“Yeah, they do,” he said. “I honestly feel like shit. I feel like I’ve let so many people down. I just don’t know. I feel like I’m playing Tokyo and stuff but I feel like these four tournaments (the slams) are the only ones that ever are going to matter. It’s just like you got to start it all again. I have to wait ’til Australian Open.

“It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.”

One small consolation for Kyrgios is that he will be back inside the world’s top 20 again, when the rankings are updated on Monday.

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