And, as he crumbled in a five-set epic against Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals, Kyrgios’ frustration at such an opportunity evaporated: he smashed two racquets on the ground, wrapping their frames beyond any use.

Khachanov, meanwhile, stood on the other side of the net with his arms raised, celebrating his 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 victory.

“Honestly, I feel like crap,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I feel like I let so many people down. These four tournaments [the grand slams] are the only ones who will ever count. It’s like you have to start all over again. I have to wait for the Australian Open. It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone I know who wants me to win.”

The first set was played in 35 minutes, dominated by big serves from both players until a few errors in Kyrgios’ final service game gave Khachanov the break and the set.

A forced break followed as the Australian took a medical time-out to receive treatment on his left knee before rallying to level the game in the second set.

“Obviously I’ve been playing a lot of tennis the last two months… I just took a step in half and just modified it a bit,” he later said of his knee. . “I ended up feeling good. I had Deep Heat on it. Everybody’s got a little problem right now.”

Kyrgios’ momentum seemed to carry over into the third set as he hit two break points in Khachanov’s first service game and then two more at 4-4. However, he failed to convert any of those opportunities and it was Khachanov who took his chance to break at 6-5 and regain the lead.

Frustrated at losing that set, Kyrgios smashed a water bottle during the changeover and received a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The 27-year-old has already been fined $18,500 for four separate offenses at this year’s US Open, including spitting, swearing and breaking his racquet, according to Reuters.

Although Kyrgios forced a fifth set, Khachanov broke in the opener, saved break points in his next two service games and closed out the game to advance to the semi-finals for the first time. a grand slam. He will now face Casper Ruud on Friday for a place in the US Open final.

“I’m super happy, super proud that I was able to finish the game, I was able to endure it,” Khachanov said. “Serve for the game [is] never easy. Yeah, just super happy to take that step forward to make my first semi-final.”

Khachanov reached the 2019 Roland-Garros quarter-finals and the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals, but never reached a Grand Slam semi-final.

It also marked the end of Kyrgios’ most successful Grand Slam year following his run to the Wimbledon final in July.

“That’s all people remember at a Grand Slam, whether you win or lose. I think almost every other tournament in the year is really a waste of time. You should just show up. at a Grand Slam, that’s what you are remembered for.”

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