Nick Kyrgios’ US Open campaign came to an end on Wednesday after going down to Russian Karen Khachanov in a five-set thriller.
The Aussie started off slow before fighting back as the contest entered the fifth set. Sadly it wasn’t to be as Khachanov emerged victorious 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 6-4.
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Frustration boiled over immediately after the contest for Kyrgios as he took his anger out courtside on two tennis racquets.
The racquets didn’t stand a chance as Kyrgios smashed them to smithereens before collecting his bags and walking off centre court.
Kyrgios, 27, blew the best chance of Grand Slam success he’s faced throughout his tennis career, entering the contest against Khachanov as the US Open favourite after he swept number one seed Daniil Medvedev off the court.
The Canberra native knew he had just missed a golden opportunity and cut a broken figure when talking after the match as he admitted to feeling like he had “failed” and that he had “let so many people down”.
“I just came out flat, physically didn’t feel great and then I ended up feeling great towards the end of the match,” he said.
“I’m obviously devastated but all credit to Karen, he’s a fighter he’s a warrior and I thought he served really good today, honestly probably the best server I’ve played all tournament to be honest.
“He played the big points well. There wasn’t really anything in it. I’m just devastated obviously.
“I just feel like it was winning it all or nothing at all. I just feel like I failed at this event right now, that’s what it feels like.
“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.
“It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.”
Kyrgios was asked if this was the last time tennis fans would see him compete in 2022.
“Honestly I don’t even really care about any other tournament. Like, I feel like at the Grand Slams, now having success at a Grand Slam it’s just like no other tournament really matters. It’s like you get better, you get worse, and at a Grand Slam none of it matters. You either win or lose.
“People don’t care if you got better on the day, or you lost (in) four (or) in the fifth, or you played one of the best matches of the tournament – you lost.
“That’s all people remember at a Grand Slam, whether you win or you lose.
“I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time. You just front up, show up at a Grand Slam. It’s what you’re remembered by.”
Kyrgios was asked about the crowd interacting throughout the contest but refused to bite and immediately moved onto the next question.
He was asked about his knee injury but once again refused to use it as an excuse for his loss, saying the niggle went away the longer the contest went on.
“Knee was sore obviously been playing a lot the past couple of months, I just split step and tweaked it a little bit and then ended up feeling fine, got some deep heat on it,” he said.
“Everyone is probably carrying a bit of a niggle right now so nothing major.
“I didn’t end up feeling it towards the third, fourth and fifth. I felt great physically, at the end of the match I felt fine. Just mentally distraught.”