US Open: Kyrgios claims tournaments outside of slams are a 'waste of time' after Flushing Meadows exit

·3-min read

Nick Kyrgios claims all tournaments other than grand slams are a "waste of time" following his US Open quarter-final exit to Karen Khachanov on Tuesday.

The in-form 2022 Wimbledon runner-up's run at Flushing Meadows, which included knocking out defending champion Daniil Medvedev, was ended by Khachanov 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

Kyrgios had been in career-best form, winning more matches than any other player on the ATP Tour since his Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic, but will need to wait until January for another crack at a major, at his home Australian Open.

The 27-year-old has spoken about his renewed level of focus since reaching the Wimbledon final and said he was "devastated" by his US Open loss, smashing a racquet after the match.

"I honestly feel like s***," he said. "I feel like I've let so many people down.

"I feel like these four tournaments are the only ones that are ever going to matter. It's just like you got to start it all again. I have to wait until the Australian Open. It's just devastating. It's heart-breaking.

"I don't even really care about any other tournament. I feel like at the grand slams, now having success at a grand slam, it's just like no other tournament really matters.

"It's like you get better, you get worse, then at a grand slam none of it matters. You either win or lose. People don't really care if you got better on the day or you lost 6-4 in the fifth or played one of the best matches of the tournament. You lost.

"That's all people remember at a grand slam, whether you win or you lose. I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time really. You should just run up and show up at a grand slam. That's what you're remembered by."

Kyrgios allayed concerns over a knee injury at the end of the first set that he said settled, stating that he started "flat" and felt Khachanov's serve was too good, particularly in key moments.

"All credit to Karen, he's a fighter. He's a warrior," he said.

"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."

The triumph marks 29th seed Khachanov's first major semi-final having fallen in the quarter-finals at majors twice previously.

"It's like one more step forward," the Russian said. "I'm really, really happy I could do it.

"I had to face and to beat Nick, who is playing some of the best tennis again. It obviously was a tough match to approach. I made my first semi-final, so it's pretty simple in my head. I'm just really happy."