The tournament was supposed to be a turning point but the Australian looks defeated by the Russian and leaves the scene in the quarter-finals.
It could and should have been the turning point tournament instead at its best, when 8 players reached the quarter-finals and never won a Grand Slam (this is the third time this has happened in the last 20 years after Wimbledon 2003 and US Open 2020) , acrobat Nick Kyrgios lost in the five-set marathon against Russian Karen Khachanov, who instead went on to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam to beat the Australian favorite 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 6–4 in 3 hours and 39 minutes of battle.
In a match largely dominated by batting innings, he ends up focusing more on Khachanov’s physical strength and toughness than on Kyrgios’ intuition and game variety, a bit cool, less explosive than usual, and always in pursuit of his opponent. The first matches are very fast, practically not played and so little exchanged and in the few points of medium length (5-6 strokes) Kyrgios struggles to impose speed. In the 5th, Khachanov warms up the powders, sets up four consecutive aces and in the next match, having eliminated a ball that would lead the Australian into the tiebreak, he scored the second half: a double fault by Kyrgios and then a lob win by Khachanov which thus ensured the set First. Kyrgios invites a physiotherapist to massage his knee, then in the third match he raises his tennis level enough to break his knee. Kyrgios rises to 3-1, maintains the advantage, takes a set serve at 5-4 and equalizes the sets using the third set point with a winning backhand. The difficult moment for the Russian also lasts at the start of the third set, where he faces two break points. Then the services return to sovereignty. On the 4th each Kyrgios gets two balls to go send to the group, but Khachanov finds an ace and is then pardoned by a forehand from the Australian. After the danger, Khachanov went up 5-4, missing two set points which instead turned 6-5. The audience is everything to the desperate Kyrgios. The Australian reacts, in the fifth match, he sets the break that lifts him, but he immediately counter-breaks all three. Kyrgios misses the opportunity to send to the group, Khachanov does not give up and the challenge continues in the tiebreak. Here Kyrgios plays a wonderful 5 minutes. Fly 3-0, then 6-1 and finally close with 7 for 3 with the challenge drawn to the fifth set.
It is the decisive set, the first in which the Australian goes to serve first, trying to put pressure on his opponent. But Kyrgios squanders this advantage, collapses. He still had chances to get back into the game, but Khachanov did not leave him, he seemed to be fresher, and therefore the Russian gives him 3-1. Now the effect of his serve is back in a big way, at 2-4 Kyrgios is saved from a double break, but he can’t avoid kneeling to the opponent who closed 5-4 on the first match point with the last match winning serve. For Kyrgios, after the final at Wimbledon it was a huge disappointment, for Khachanov instead it is the first semi-final of the Grand Slam of his career after losing in the quarter-finals in Paris 2019 to Thiem and at Wimbledon 2021 against Shapovalov. On Friday in the semi-finals, favorite will face Casper Rudd, who, like Alcaraz, has two wins after becoming world number one. Today afternoon Tiafoe-Rublev and at night Alcaraz-Sinner. Italy is still hoping.
September 7 – 08:37
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