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Russian winner sends ‘sarcastic’ message to New York crowd (VIDEO)

Karen Khachanov appeared to direct a thinly veiled barb at US Open fans

Russian ace Karen Khachanov was accused of taking a dig at US Open fans following his epic quarterfinal victory against Nick Kyrgios in front of a New York crowd which was overwhelmingly backing the Australian.

Khachanov booked a spot in a first-ever Grand Slam semifinal as he overcame Kyrgios in a five-set tussle at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 in a contest which ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning at Flushing Meadows.

The Russian held his nerve against a man many had tipped as the favorite for the title after Kyrgios had blitzed defending champion and world number one Daniil Medvedev in the previous round.


READ MORE: Russian ‘warrior’ ousts US Open favorite

Kyrgios, 27, was roared on by the majority of the crowd against Khachanov as they lapped up his typically entertaining brand of tennis, although the match was again marred by some fiery outbursts as Kyrgios directed his anger towards members of his support team and obliterated several rackets – including two at the conclusion of the match.

Apparently taking note of whose side the crowd was on, Khachanov said in his on-court interview: “I did it. I did it guys. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, now you’re giving me some love, thank you guys, I appreciate it.

“Thank you. It was a crazy match. I was expecting it to be like this. I’m ready to run, to fight, to play five sets. We played again almost four hours and that’s the only way to beat Nick I think.”  

Some fans and pundits immediately labeled the comments “sarcastic” and “tongue-in-cheek” – with claims that Khachanov was echoing countryman Medvedev’s infamous running battle with the New York crowd on his way to the final back in 2019.

When asked at his post-match press conference about the fervent crowd backing for Kyrgios, Khachanov said he had been anticipating it.

“I was prepared, I was expecting that the crowd would be more for him, that he was the favorite in their eyes. I don’t get upset about that,” said the number 27 seed.

“I played Rafa [Nadal] in 2018, it was pretty similar, so I knew what to expect, what I have to do, to stay focused and deliver a good match, and that’s what I did.”

Kyrgios exploded after losing the match, hammering two rackets into the court having passed up what many touted as a golden opportunity to win a maiden Grand Slam title after falling just short at Wimbledon back in July.

“I feel the pain for him,” Khachanov said of the combustible scenes as racket debris littered the court.

Read more

Kyrgios was fuming after his defeat. © Twitter @thirdandfivepod
Aussie erupts in epic tantrum after US Open loss to Russian rival (VIDEO)

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev also noted the one-sided nature of the crowd, telling RIA Novosti: “The whole crowd in New York was rooting against our player, even though Karen did not give them a single reason to do this during the entire match. Not a gesture, nothing that the public might not like.”

“The general trend was clear – they rooted for the Australian. But psychologically and morally, Karen played the game for five sets,” added Tarpischev.

An Olympic silver medalist in Tokyo last summer, Khachanov is now in new territory at a Grand Slam after losing his previous two quarterfinals at Roland-Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.

To progress further in New York, he will need to pull off another upset against fifth-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud, who eased past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in straight sets in their quarterfinal.

Ruud, 23, is targeting a first Grand Slam title after making the French Open final earlier this season, and knows that reaching Sunday’s showpiece in New York could also see him rise to the top of the ATP world rankings.

“Will there be enough strength for the semifinal, it is always a question. In the semifinal, psychology comes to the fore,” Tarpischev said of the upcoming tussle.


READ MORE: Russia’s Rublev rolls on at US Open

Khachanov himself said he was proud of his achievements thus far, telling the media: “It’s one more step forward, I’m really happy I could do it.”

Khachanov and Ruud are set to meet on Friday in their battle for a spot in the final.  

https://ift.tt/eZglHSa 07, 2022 at 02:00PM
from RT – Daily news

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