Karen Khachanov adds, “It also happened against Rafael Nadal.”

With two Major quarterfinal appearances under his belt, Karen Khachanov qualified for the US Open. In New York, the Russian has found his form, defeating five opponents and moving on to the first Major semifinal. In three hours and 39 minutes, Khachanov defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 for a career-best victory, dominating the Australian and the supportive Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.

Seven out of nine break attempts were defended by Karen, who performed better after the second serve. Despite his best efforts, Kyrgios was broken four times before hitting the exit door. He also suffered an early break in the decider, which helped the Russian advance.

Karen anticipated the crowd’s enthusiasm for his competitor because he had already faced Rafael Nadal on the same court four years prior. In 2018, the Russian and the Spaniard engaged in a spectacular four-hour, 28-minute match that culminated with Rafa winning 5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.

Khachanov competed at his highest level against the defending champion during the first two rounds without dropping a set. Nadal had to use every tool in his toolbox to win, improving on his first and second serves and making five out of 13 break attempts.

In New York, Karen Khachanov has advanced to his first Major semifinal.

Karen finished the match with 66 winners and 55 unforced errors after launching 22 aces and producing five breaks out of 11 chances. In the longest four-set match at the US Open, Nadal stood on a 49-38 ratio and performed well enough in key moments to win in four sets.

Rafa won sets two and three before taking a break at 1-1 in set four to advance toward the finish line. At 5-4, the Spaniard was serving for the match when the Russian broke back to increase his chances. In one of the most important matches of the season, Nadal survived a set point on his service at 5-6 and defeated the rival 7-4 in the tie break to secure the victory.

“I anticipated that the crowd would prefer Nick more and that he would be seen as the favorite. I don’t get angry over that. In 2018, I faced off against Rafa, which was comparable. I was aware of what to do and how concentrated I needed to be. I had to give a quality match, which I did “stated Karen Khachanov.