Nick Kyrgios LOSES to Karen Khachanov in a US Open five-set thriller
Nick Kyrgios smashes up TWO rackets after losing to Karen Khachanov in a US Open five-set thriller, having told his corner ‘I don’t want to play with this s***’ in a timeout with a knee issue
- Nick Kyrgios lost the first set 7-5 to Karen Khachanov and took a medical timeout
- The Australian won the next set but soon began to get frustrated with his play
- It helped the Russian Khachanov to then win the third set 7-5 on Arthur Ashe
- Kyrgios won the fourth in a tiebreak but Khachanov got his first major semifinal
Nick Kyrgios went out of the US Open with less of a bang and more of a whimper as he succumbed to the brutish power of Karen Khachanov.
The Australian will now get the journey home he has spoken longingly of after going down 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 in three hours and 39 minutes with the time dead on 1am.
Initially troubled by a knee issue – and perhaps ruing the decision to play doubles here – he never quite ignited and sometimes looked subdued in a match dominated by serve that saw 61 aces almost evenly split.
Nick Kyrgios is out the US Open after a defeat in five sets against Karen Khachanov
Moments after his defeat, Kyrgios shook hand with Khachanov and smashed his racket up
It appeared a great tournament for Kyrgios to win, the draw having opened up for him
Kyrgios took his frustration out on two of his rackets in the moments after his defeat
It has been a transformational summer for Kyrgios, but this was a deflating ending, despite him battling to the end when previously he might have folded.
With no previous champion in the field it was an excellent opportunity for him to join the ranks of Australian Major winners.
Instead the strapping and slightly mechanical Khachanov, who held his concentration admirably, will now face Norway’s Casper Ruud for a place in the final.
Kyrgios moves with a strange gait at the best of times but there was something definitely less animated about him as the first set rattled away at lightning pace.
Amid a flurry of aces from both men the first eleven games took just half and hour, before a tight twelfth that saw Kyrgios leave the door ajar for the Russian to get a foot in it.
Then came the call for the trainer, who entered the court to frantically massage what initially looked like either side of the Australian’s left knee.
‘I don’t want to play through this s**t,’ he told his support box in the corner – before promptly playing on and breaking Khachanov in the third game.
Kyrgios had a medical timeout after the first set and was heard saying ‘I can’t walk’
It was a gripping match on Arther Ashe, with Khachanov emerging victorious after five sets
But Kyrgios went the distance in a five-set thriller on Arthur Ashe that went deep into the night
He slowly gained the ascendancy and restricted himself to chuntering at the change of ends of what was, in truth, and often uninspiring contest.
His temper snapped when he missed a second break point at 4-4 in the third, hurling his racket away in disgust and screaming some very audible obscenities which umpire James Keothavong chose to ignore.
He eventually dispensed an unsportsmanlike conduct violation for throwing a water bottle.
Kyrgios needed to save two set points in the next game, one of which came from a badly miscued Khachanov forehand as he rushed into the net.
The Russian did not make the same mistake when another two presented themselves in the next game, staying in the rally and winning it when Kyrgios netted a backhand.
With the clock ticking towards midnight the Australian went up a break, only to immediately hand it back with a loose serve game to his dourly determined opponent.
Yet it was Khachanov who emerged victorious and he now heads into the semifinal
Khachanov celebrates after finally winning the match dead on 1am in New York
The crowd helped encourage Kyrgios back into the match but a victory evaded him
An increasingly boorish crowd – which earlier on had included one man getting a haircut – roared him towards the tiebreak, in which he was always in charge, taking it 7-3.
While the knee looked to have ceased to be an issue, he got off to a poor start in the decider when he was broken, and was left regretting taking only two of nine break points.
As a final act, he furiously smashed two of his rackets into the court after shaking hands.
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