For the very first time in his career, Nick Kyrgios, in the middle of the main draw of a Grand Slam, found himself in a position to be the favourite for the title. And he found out just how hard that can be as he was downed by Russia’s Karen Khachanov in five sets in the quarterfinal.
Khachanov showed incredible maturity to weather the Kyrgios storm, as he kept his game ticking over without falling out of rhythm despite all the antics on the other end – which continued to include Kyrgios’ never ending scorn for his team for not supporting him enough.
Knowing how dependent Kyrgios is on his serve, Khachanov turned his own into a weapon, getting broken just twice all match and capitalising on early breaks. The forehand was firing, and he was well measured from the baseline. The former Masters 1000 champion looked like the promising player of a few years ago as he pulls into his first Grand Slam semifinal.
Garcia rolls over Gauff
Continuing her remarkable run at the summit of women’s tennis, France’s Caroline Garcia stormed local favourite Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career in New York.
Garcia is on fire at the moment, she’s won 13 matches in a row – 31 of her last 35 – and failed to drop a single set at the US Open so far, dropping just 27 games in total.
A lot of her results are the direct product of her commitment to attacking tennis, but against Gauff, her management of the pressure and getting past the crowd was on an unbelievable level. She dictated proceedings from the baseline, and Gauff couldn’t get a read on her serve. May well leave New York with the trophy.
Ruud blows Berrettini away
Casper Ruud started his US Open quarterfinal knowing he has a very good chance to be World No. 1 at the end of this week. He was also vying for his second Major semifinal, and with the favourites all out, he was a genuine contender for the title.
The pressure, however, did not seem to bother him initially. He won 11 of the first 13 games to take a commanding 6-1, 5-1 lead, and while nerves may have set in, causing a few unforced errors, he battled past them to defeat Matteo Berrettini to win 6-1, 6-4, 7-6.
The Berrettini assignment was a way difficult one, the Italian is one of the most consistent best-of-five players in the world and he’s very good with his back against the wall, coming back from his two-set deficit to lead 5-2 in the third. But Ruud showed impressive maturity, the manner of the victory was just as important as the victory itself. No ceiling to what he can achieve this week.
One Jabeur into a second consecutive semifinal
‘Minister of happiness’ Ons Jabeur rolled into the US Open semifinals with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday.
Jabeur was a long, long way off her best, especially in that second set when she was forced to come back from a 3-5 deficit with some great defence and anticipation .
The Wimbledon finalist may have weather the storm, but in Garcia she will face a player in red hot form, and will need to bring her A game to reach a second consecutive final. Will be an intriguing encounter.