Khachanov topples Kyrgios to reach semis

“I did it, guys. Finally, you are showing me some love,” Khachanov told the mostly pro-Kyrgios crowd on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov

NEW YORK: Russia’s Karen Khachanov reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 win over Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday.

Khachanov, seeded 27th, fired 30 aces and a total of 63 winners past Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios in a big-serving contest. The 26-year-old will face fifth seed Casper Ruud of Norway for a place in Sunday’s final. “I did it, guys. Finally, you are showing me some love,” Khachanov told the mostly pro-Kyrgios crowd on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Russian said he had “nothing to lose” when he faces French Open runner-up Ruud on Friday. “I would like to win it,” he added. Kyrgios was feeling his left knee at each changeover in the first set and summoned the trainer after dropping the opener.

It was a rapid-fire first set dominated by serve, with Khachanov sending down four successive aces to lead 6-5 before pouncing on the only break point to seal the set. Despite his physical worries, the 27-year-old Kyrgios, who knocked out defending champion Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round, broke for 2-1 on his way to pocketing the second set.

Kyrgios served up a 47-second service game, courtesy of four aces in a row, but wasted two break points in the ninth game of the third set. He was soon made to pay as the Russian edged ahead two sets to one. Kyrgios was handed a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct as he angrily berated himself at the changeover.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ruud defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to make his second Slam semi-final of 2022.

Garcia beats Gauff to enter last-four

Caroline Garcia crushed Coco Gauff’s dreams of taking up the mantle from retiring American great Serena Williams and winning her first US Open with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 win. The Frenchwoman wasted no time in putting pressure on the 18-year-old Gauff, stepping into the court to attack her second serve and clobbering forehands to race out to a 4-0 lead. Garcia, seeded 17th, took the first set with an exquisite volley and kept her foot on the gas in the second, breaking Gauff in first game.

Gauff, the 12th seed, had her best chance of climbing back into the match when she had a breakpoint opportunity while trailing 2-3. But, Garcia fired two unreturnable first serves and held after an exhausting rally when Gauff’s passing shot sailed long.

Garcia sealed the win when Gauff’s backhand landed in the net on match point, stretching out her arms and racing around the court to celebrate reaching her first Slam semi-final.

RESULTS: Quarter-finals: Men: K Khachanov bt N Kyrgios 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4. Women: C Garcia bt C Gauff 6-3, 6-4; O Jabeur bt A Tomljanovic 6-4, 7-6(4).

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