Nick Kyrgios was sent packing from the US Open on Wednesday at the hands of Karen Khachanov in a five-set thriller.
The quarterfinal showdown went down to the wire, but in the end it was the Russian who emerged victorious as he claimed the 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 victory.
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It sets up a semi-final match with Norwegian Casper Ruud. For Kyrgios he entered the contest as the favourite to take out the final Grand Slam of the year after his dominant win over number one seed Daniil Medvedev.
But it wasn’t to be and Kyrgios let his frustrations boil over immediately after congratulating his opponent at the net.
“That’s not great, that’s not great at all,” Todd Woodbridge said on the Channel 9 coverage after watching the replay.
His outburst following the contest didn’t sit well with fans who were watching on.
“D*ckheads never change their spots,” tweeted Piers Morgan. “Grow up Nick Kyrgios – this is pathetic.”
CNBC journalist Jude Sannith wrote: “Am I terrible person if I say that I’m really glad Kyrgios did not win? That behaviour is disgraceful & has no place in ANY sport. And just the fact that spectators and some pundits romanticise and encourage it, saying “it’s good for the game” makes it worse.”
Sportskeeda tennis writer Musab Abid wrote: “Nick Kyrgios embarrassing himself and the sport for the 7439th time.”
The Age’s chief reporter Chip Le Grand wrote: “This is a grown man, apparently.”
You can watch Kyrgios’ explosive meltdown in the video player above.
Others however pointed to the outburst as a sign Kyrgios knew he had just blown a golden opportunity and showed he truly cared and was passionate about his job.
Tennis journalist Jose Morgado wrote: “Nick, more than anyone, knows that he just lost the biggest chance of his career. Tough, tough one for someone who finally seems to care about his job.”
ABC broadcaster Corbin Middlemas wrote: “actually like this… from a guy once questioned about how much it all meant to him… sure there’s another lesson in the character arc about handling disappointing etc. but one thing at a time.”
Tennis writer Ben Rothenberg wrote: “Kyrgios will rue that one, but the first time being the favorite to win a Slam is no small challenge. I just hope that, when he plays again next, Kyrgios focuses on himself rather than obsessing over whether or not his support team is adequately vocal throughout. Got so, so old.”
Kyrgios spoke after the devastating loss, admitting he felt like he had let so many people down and was now forced to wait until the Australian Open to prove himself.
“I feel like sh*t. I feel like I’ve let so many people down…I feel like these four tournaments are the only ones that ever are going to matter. You got to start it all again. I have to wait till Australian Open,” he said.
“It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.
“I’m devastated. I just feel like it was winning it all or nothing at all. I just feel like I failed at this event.”