New York: Karen Khachanov edged out Nick Kyrgios in a big-serving battle in the early hours of Wednesday morning to charge into the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at the US Open.
The 27th seed Russian withstood 31 aces en route to a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 win in three hours, 39 minutes after earlier coming within two points of victory in the fourth set.
Khachanov advanced to play Norway’s Casper Ruud, who has the opportunity to finish the tournament at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.
“From the beginning until the end, great performance – at least I will talk about myself, from my side,” Khachanov said in his post-match presser. “I stayed there. I waited for my chance. I created them as well. I’m super happy, super proud that I could finish the match, I could take it. Serving for the match is never easy. I am just super happy to do this step forward to make my first semi-final.”
The 26-year-old has surged 13 places during the tournament to No. 18 in the ATP Live Rankings. 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 beginning of the grass season, climbed to No. 19 in the live standings during the tournament to pass Alex de Minaur as the highest-ranked Australian.
“I’m obviously devastated. But all credit to Karen. He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. I thought he served really good today,” Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference. “Honestly probably the best server I played this tournament. The way he was hitting his spots under pressure. He just played the big points well.”