Karen Khachanov bests Nick Kyrgios in 5-setter at US Open to reach first career Grand Slam semifinal

NEW YORK — Nick Kyrgios could not quite follow up his victory over defending champion Daniil Medvedev at the US Open and lost in the quarterfinals to Karen Khachanov 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4 at a rowdy Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The match began Tuesday night and concluded at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Early in the match, two spectators were kicked out after one gave the other a haircut in the stands.

By the end, the late-staying spectators were pulling for Kyrgios loudly. At one point in the fourth set, chair umpire James Keothavong pleaded: “Once again, ladies and gentlemen: Respect both the players.”

The No. 27-seeded Khachanov advanced to the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career. He had been 0-2 in major quarterfinals before this one against No. 23 Kyrgios.

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“I did it! I did it, guys! Thank you. Now you’re giving me some love. I appreciate it,” Khachanov told the spectators who remained until the finish. “It was a crazy match. I was expecting it would be like this. I’m ready to run, to fight. … That’s the only way to beat Nick, I think.”

Khachanov will face No. 5 Casper Ruud on Friday for a berth in the championship match.

This quarterfinal was high-quality tennis over more than 3 1/2 hours.

Both Kyrgios and Khachanov are equipped with booming serves, and since aces were first tracked in 1991, it marked the second US Open men’s match featuring players with 30-plus aces (31 by Kyrgios). The other came in the 2004 quarterfinals between Joachim Johansson (30) and Andy Roddick (34).

Kyrgios and Khachanov also combined for 138 total winners (75 by Kyrgios).

Two stats that were real difference-makers: Kyrgios made 58 unforced errors, Khachanov 31. And Khachanov saved 7 of 9 break points he faced.

Kyrgios was the runner-up at Wimbledon in July and became a popular pick to claim his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows after ending No. 1 Medvedev’s title defense in the fourth round.

Khachanov was not allowed to play at Wimbledon this year after the All England Club banned all players from his country, Russia, and Belarus because of the invasion of Ukraine. He was 150-1 to win the US Open at the start of the tournament, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

Against Kyrgios, he picked up key breaks of serve in the last game of the first and third sets. After the opener, Kyrgios complained of knee pain and was visited by an athletic trainer.

He did not appear to show any ill effects once play resumed, and broke early in the second.

Kyrgios had a chance to break at 4-all in the third, but couldn’t convert, flubbing a forehand, then spiked his racket. Two games later, he put a backhand into the net to drop that set, then sat in his changeover chair, dumped his racket and threw a drink, drawing a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct from Keothavong.

Khachanov came within two points of victory while ahead 6-5 as Kyrgios served in the fourth set. Kyrgios held on there and dominated the ensuing tiebreaker to force a fifth.

Then Khachanov broke to begin the last set and soon was up 3-1.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.