'It Also Happened Against Rafael Nadal,' Says Karen Khachanov

«It also happened against Rafael Nadal,» says Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov entered the US Open with two major quarterfinals under her belt. The Russian has found his form in New York, beating five rivals and advancing to the first Major semi-final. Khachanov defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 in three hours and 39 minutes to get the best result of his career, dominating the Australian and the crowd in the stadium. Arthur Ashe cheering his adversary.

Karen played better behind the second serve and defended seven of nine break chances. Kyrgios broke four times to hit the starting gate despite giving his best, suffering a break early in the decider that powered the Russian.

Karen expected the crowd to root for her rival, and she had already experienced it on the same court four years ago against Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard and Russian embraced the US Open epic in 2018, with Rafa prevailing 5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 after four hours and 28 minutes of memorable battle.

Khachanov went through the first two rounds without dropping a set and gave his best against the defending champion. Nadal needed all of his arsenal to emerge on top, playing better on the first and second serves and converting five of 13 break point opportunities.

Karen Khachanov is through to her first Major semi-final in New York.

Karen fired 22 aces and delivered five breaks from 11 chances, finishing the match with 66 game winners and 55 unforced errors. Nadal held to a 49-38 ratio and did enough in the decisive moments to seal the deal in four sets and avoid a five-hour clash at the longer four-set US Open.

Rafa prevailed in sets two and three and grabbed a break at 1-1 in the fourth to move closer to the finish line. The Spaniard served for the 5-4 win before the Russian broke at love to extend his chances. Nadal fended off a set point on his serve at 5-6 and dominated the opponent 7-4 in the tie break to seal the deal and prevail in one of the most notable matches of the season.

«I was hoping that the public would be more for Nick and that he would be the favorite in their eyes. I don’t get mad about that. I played Rafa in 2018, which was something similar. He knew what to do and how focused he was.» I had to stay. I had to play a good game, and I did,» said Karen Khachanov.

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