Karen Khachanov suggested that Nick Kyrgios post-match was understandable as he acknowledged that losing such a match was definitely painful. On Tuesday, Khachanov defeated Kyrgios 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3) 6-4 ti progress into the US Open semifinal.
After shaking Khachanov's hands, Kyrgios went to his chair and smashed two rackets.
"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. 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 shaked hands. I saw after the rackets were flying. But I feel the pain for him, yeah," Khachanov reflected.
Khachanov expected the crowd to stand behind Kyrgios
Going into the match, Khachanov expected the crowd to be on Kyrgios' side.
After beating Kyrgios, Khachanov said that the experience of playing Rafael Nadal at the 2018 US Open helped him against the Australian. "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.
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 added.
In the US Open semifinal, Khachanov plays fifth-seeded Casper Ruud. Khachanov and Ruud will be going head-to-head for the second time when they meet at Flushing Meadows. In 2020, Khachanov lost his lone meeting versus Ruud in Rome.
Khachanov will be playing his first Grand Slam semifinal when he takes on Ruud. It remains to be seen if Khachanov can go a step further and make his first Major final at Flushing Meadows.