Karen Khachanov has given Nick Kyrgios a lead over Nick Kyrgios in the early hours of Wednesday morning to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at the US Open.
In a game with no atmosphere in the first half and overflowing with electricity in the second half, the 27th seed withstood 31 aces and voted the crowd support for his opponent en route to a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 6 -7 (3) 6-4 victory in three hours, 39 minutes after earlier within two points of victory in the fourth set.
Khachanov, who shot 30 aces himself, moves on to Norwegian Casper Ruud, who will have the chance to finish the tournament at number 1 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings.
“I did it! I did it!” said Khachanov. “I’m really proud of myself, I was focused from start to finish.
“It was a crazy game, but I was ready to fight and play five sets.”
Arthur Ashe Stadium gets a haircut during Khachanov-Kyrgios Tuesday night.” />
A man in the second row of Arthur Ashe Stadium is clipped during the game.
Large portions dominated the first two sets with short points and an unusually subdued Kyrgios that left the crowd with little energy to feed. But as the players started playing longer rallies from the third set, the New York crowd found its voice, especially as Kyrgios dominated the tiebreaker in the fourth set to force a decision.
But the Australian dropped the service at the start of the fifth and Khachanov held out all the way to the finish. Khachanov took four of his first six breakpoint chances (4/8 before the game), while Kyrgios took only two of the nine break opportunities.
Khachanov, who needed five sets to defeat Montreal champion Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round, has survived a grueling road to the semifinals. He also needs four sets to defeat Denis Kudla in the first round and Thiago Monteiro in the second. He was also on his way to another four or five setter with Jack Draper in the third round before the young Brit was injured.
US Open quarterfinals Tuesday night.” />
Comedian Trevor Noah (right) attended the quarterfinals of the US Open on Tuesday night.
Khachanov has moved up 13 places to number 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings during the tournament. Depending on other results, he could crack the Top 10 if he wins the tournament.
Kyrgios, who finished the tournament with 116 aces and a tour-leading 27 wins since the start of the grass season, climbed to 19th in the live standings during the tournament to overtake Alex de Minaur as the highest ranking Australian.
“I’m clearly devastated. But all credit to Karen. He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. I thought he served very well today,” Kyrgios said at his post-match press conference. “Honestly probably the best server I’ve played this tournament. The way he hit his spots under pressure. He just played the big points well.
“There was really nothing in it. I’m clearly broken. Just feeling like it either won everything or nothing at all. I feel like I have failed at this event at this point. That’s how it feels.”