Nick Kyrgios smashed two rackets, which he left like dead bodies in the middle of the field. For the ultimate night session show, Tuesday in New York, Karen Khachanov created the sensation by leaving in the quarter-finals the Australian, who undoubtedly saw himself much higher and much more beautiful, after having ousted in the previous round the World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.
The disappointment was severe for the last finalist at Wimbledon, who will therefore not hang here yet, this year, his first Major. For Karen Khachanov, on the other hand, this success, which no one really saw coming, brilliantly validates the rebirth of the Russian at the end of the summer.
The wrath of Kyrgios (M. Segar/Reuters)
Arrived in New York “in socks”, with an American tour of two rounds at best, Khachanov has just had two victorious battles in five rounds, against Pablo Carreño Busta in the previous round then Nick Kyrgios, with a determination and a valiant mind. To now propel himself ahead of Casper Ruud and play the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career on Friday.
Tweener and hair clipping
Tuesday evening, in any case, the winner of the Masters 1000 in Paris in 2018, who had disappeared from the radar since then, did not steal his success. In a first set that Kyrgios started totally tired, visibly embarrassed by a tired left knee, the Russian held his big serve, dropping only four points in six face-offs, before closing the deal with a baroque choice from Kyrgios , who missed his assault on a serve/volley behind a more than daring second ball.
In an evening, where everything was obviously allowed, where the Australian released a tweener of good quality face, when others were having their hair cut in the stands. There was life, if not consistency. It was much more noise than for Gauff – Garcia and Kyrgios, finally, revolted a little, while Khachanov disappeared from the game in the second set.
It wasn’t always brilliant, it moved forward in flashes, but there was a fight. The Russian, finalist in Adelaide at the very beginning of the year – the only major event of his season – managed to control Kyrgios’ first balls a tad better and that was enough to pocket the third set. Even if we can just as well say that Kyrgios, in this case, gave him, with a missed drop shot, a forehand fault and a backhand fault!
“I am mentally destroyed
Returning to two sets everywhere after a completely mastered tie-break, during which Khachanov disappeared into the hallways of the stadium, we thought that Kyrgios had stolen the momentum. However, he gave up his entry service in the last set and would never catch up, despite two opportunities. In the final game, Khachanov didn’t tremble, he even had that hint of luck that puts you in the clear, when he landed a volley of forehands that kissed the band of the net full on the mouth… to fall into the camp opponent and offer two match points to the Russian.
So here is Khachanov, who had never done better than a 3rd round at the US Open, launched into the most beautiful epic of his career. As for Kyrgios, “mentally destroyed “, as he said at the exit, after this big disappointment, nobody really knows when he will reappear.