New York, USA, 7 September 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Nick Kyrgios’ career-best run at the US Open has ended with a five-set quarterfinal loss.

The 27-year-old Australian was knocked out of the tournament at Flushing Meadows today, with big-serving Karen Khachanov recording a 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 victory in a see-sawing three-hour and 39-minute encounter.

Kyrgios had been aiming to reach his first US Open semifinal. It would have made him the 11th Australian man in the Open era to achieve the feat and the first since Lleyton Hewitt 17 years ago.

But Khachanov ruined those plans, subduing the in-form Kyrgios with his powerful game. The 26-year-old Khachanov, a former world No.8, fired 30 aces and hit 62 winners to reach his maiden major semifinal.

“I’m obviously devastated,” Kyrgios said. “But all credit to Karen. He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. I thought he served really good today. Probably the best server I played this tournament, to be honest, the way he was hitting his spots under pressure.”

There was only a single break in a tight opening set, with Khachanov striking in the 12th game. The world No.31 finished the set with 15 winners and just two unforced errors. Kyrgios struck 19 winners of his own, but 13 unforced errors proved costly.

Kyrgios was noticeably flat and after undergoing a medical timeout for a left knee complaint, it appeared his chances were quickly fading.

Yet the world No.25 bounced back to secure his first break of the match in the third game of the second set and held this advantage to level at one-set apiece.

With the Arthur Ashe Stadium willing him into the match, Kyrgios’ intensity lifted.

Both players struggled to grasp their opportunities in a critical third set. Kyrgios was unable to convert any of the four break points he earned. While Khachanov squandered two set points in the 10th game, one with a wild forehand.

Khachanov earned two more set points in the 12th game. This time he only needed one, clinching a two-sets-to-one lead when Kyrgios netted a backhand.

Kyrgios fought back early in the fourth set, breaking in the fifth game. But was unable to consolidate, losing his serve in the next game.

Under pressure, Kyrgios stepped up to dominate the ensuing fourth-set tiebreak and keep his hopes alive.

However, Kyrgios’ building momentum proved short-lived.

Khachanov struck first in the deciding set, breaking the Wimbledon 2022 finalist’s serve in the opening game. The towering Russian earned two break points again in the seventh game, only for Kyrgios to hold and avoid a double-break deficit.

There was no reeling in Khachanov’s lead though, with the No.27 seed serving out one of the biggest wins of his career.

“It’s just devastating. Like, it’s heartbreaking,” Kyrgios conceded. “Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win.”

Kyrgios finished with the match with 31 aces and 75 winners, but committed 58 unforced errors compared to Khachanov’s 31. His break point conversation rate was a disappointing 22 per cent, winning only two of the nine break points he earned throughout the match.

It was the third longest match of Kyrgios’ career and only the fourth time he has lost a five-set battle (from 15 five-set matches played).

“People don’t really care if you got better on the day, or you lost four in the fifth, or played one of the best matches of the tournament. You lost,” said a disappointed Kyrgios. “That’s all people remember at a Grand Slam, whether you win or you lose.”

There are still many positives for Kyrgios to take from his performance this tournament. He is set to overtake Alex de Minaur in the rankings to reclaim the Australian No.1 position and is also projected to return to the world’s top 20 for the first time since February 2020.

Earlier today, Ajla Tomljanovic’s stunning tournament ended in the women’s singles quarterfinals. Fifth seed Ons Jabeur recorded a 6-4 7-6(4) victory in their Arthur Ashe Stadium showdown.

In women’s doubles action, Ellen Perez and American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez continued their winning run to reach the semifinals.

> READ: Perez powers into first Grand Slam semifinal

Aussies in action – US Open

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[27] Karen Khachanov d [23] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4

Women’s singles, quarterfinals
[5] Ons Jabeur (TUN) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-4 7-6(4)

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