And when he lost in an epic five-set quarterfinal to Russia’s Karen Kachanov, Kyrgios’ frustration at letting such an opportunity slip away: He smashed two rackets into the ground, rendering their frames unusable.
Kachanov, meanwhile, stood on the opposite side of the net with his arms raised as he celebrated his 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 victory.
“I feel honest,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I feel like I let a lot of people down. These four matches [the grand slams] They are the only ones that will ever matter. It looks like you have to start it all over again. Will have to wait until the Australian Open. It’s just a disaster. As such, the heart breaks. Not just for me, but for everyone I know who wants me to succeed.”
The first set went 35 minutes and was dominated by big serves from both players until two errors in Kyrgios’ final service game gave Kachanov the break and the set.
The Australian took a medical time-out for treatment on his left knee, forcing a break as he rallied to level the match in the second set.
“I’ve been playing a lot of tennis for the last couple of months…I’ve separated and tweaked it a little bit,” he later said of his knee. “Felt good. I got a little deep heat on it. Everybody’s going a little bit now.”
Kyrgios’ momentum carried over into the third set as he fashioned two break points in Kachanov’s opening service game, then another two at 4-4. However, he failed to convert any of these chances and Kachanov took advantage to break back to break 6-5 and take the lead again.
Frustrated at losing the set, Kyrgios smashed a water bottle during the transition and received a caution 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 smashing, according to Reuters.
Although Kyrgios forced a fifth set, Kachanov broke in the opening game, saved break points in his next two service games and wrapped up the match to advance to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time. He now faces Kasper Rudd on Friday for a place in the US Open final.
“I’m very happy, I’m very proud that I was able to finish the tournament, I was able to take it,” Kachanov said. “Serving the competition [is] Never easy. Yes, very happy to take this step to reach my first semi-final.”
It marks Kyrgios’ most successful year at a Grand Slam since a run to the Wimbledon final in July.
“That’s what people remember whether you win or lose a Grand Slam. I think all the other tournaments this year are really a waste of time. You have to run and show in a Grand Slam, that’s what you remember.”
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