Nick Kyrgios, famous for his on-court outbursts, didn't let the crowd down on Tuesday night. After he lost a tight five-setter to Karen Khachanov, which knocked him out of the US Open just before the semifinals, Kyrgios let out his anger and disappointment by smashing some of his rackets.
Immediately after shaking the chair umpire's hand, he went to town. He even dug into his bag so he could smash multiple rackets.
A meltdown from Nick Kyrgios after losing in the US Open quarterfinal! pic.twitter.com/hUTaihlTBF
— Third and Five Podcast (@thirdandfivepod) September 7, 2022
Classic Kyrgios. And that wasn't all. He constantly yelled at his team in the player's box (which included his girlfriend), complaining about his sore knee or demanding they give him more support.
This isn't a new thing for Kyrgios. He does it all the time. But it's something you don't really see at a quarterfinal night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium these days. That's because Kyrgios, a one-of-a-kind player, has never really been in this position before. He's never gone this far at the US Open, and until a few months ago, his best Grand Slam finishes had come in 2014 and 2015. That changed in July when he made it to his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal and final at Wimbledon, where he lost the trophy to Novak Djokovic.
Kyrgios turns inward after loss
Kyrgios is typically all bravado and swagger, but after the loss and the racket-smashing temper tantrum, he was unusually introspective when talking to the media.
"I honestly feel like s***," Kyrgios said. "I feel like I've let so many people down. These four tournaments [the grand slams] are the only ones that ever are going to matter. It's just like you've got to start it all again. I have to wait till Australian Open. It's just devastating. Like, it's heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win."
And this time, he didn't blame others for the loss. He didn't even blame his balky knee. He blamed himself for not being mentally prepared for the pressure.
Good to see that Kyrgios didn’t blame the injury for his loss and admitted it was the pressure. That’s some growth. pic.twitter.com/qLuV7o7f4B
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 7, 2022
And despite his on-court behavior, Kyrgios gave all the credit to Khachanov, who was able to match Kyrgios' intensity.
“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. Honestly probably the best server I played this tournament, to be honest, the way he was hitting his spots under pressure.”