Karen Khachanov defeated Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals of the US Open on Tuesday. The pair contested a hard-fought match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which ended with the Russian emerging victorious 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(3) 6-4 in three hours and 39 minutes.
In the immediate aftermath of the defeat, Kyrgios had a meltdown on the court. Having shaken hands with Khachanov and the chair umpire, the Aussie smashed two of his racquets, leaving them broken on the court, before making a hasty exit.
(VIDEO) Kyrgios loses cool in explosive fashion after US Open defeat to Khachanov smashing two racquets
Speaking about the incident at his post-match press conference, Khachanov said that while he did not catch Kyrgios in the act, he understood the Australian's frustration.
"I mean, it's painful. I think it hurts for him or it would be the same for me if I would lose that match," admitted Khachanov. "It's never easy to lose five sets because you give your best, you give your self best throughout the whole match, then it's never easy to accept the defeat. To be honest, I didn't look at him after we shook hands. I saw after the racquets were flying. But I feel the pain for him, yeah."
While happy with the win, the Russian also took notice of the crowd's vocal support for his opponent.
"Yeah, I was prepared [for the atmosphere]. I was expecting that the crowd would be more for him, that he was the favorite in their eyes," said Khachanov. "I don't get upset on that. I played Rafa [Nadal] in 2018. I mean, was pretty similar thing. I knew what to expect. I knew what I have to do, how focused I have to stay. Just to deliver a good match. That's what I did basically."
Khachanov will face fifth seed Casper Ruud for a spot in the final.