Nick Kyrgios defeated Daniel Medvedev, taking the first place of his career in the US Open quarter-finals

New York — Nick Kyrgios He sat in the locker room at Arthur Ashe Stadium after finishing Daniel MedvedevDefending the US Open title and staying number one in the world rankings, he felt a mixture of pride and comfort.

Pride of great service, and a solid performance that resulted in a 7-6 (11) 3-6 6-3, 6-2 victory over Medvedev on Sunday night, the latest in a string of career-changing results. who carried Kyrgios to his first quarter-final at Flushing Meadows following his run to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

He said Pride is getting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” out of court, which he first revealed in February. He pursued his pride, and successfully distanced himself from “feeling so depressed all the time, feeling sorry for myself.”

Kyrgios explained that he was relieved to fiddle with his gray Boston Celtics hat at his post-game press conference, being able to get in when the lights are brightest and they’re at their highest, “because there’s so much pressure every time I go out to court, so many expectations, And a lot of unpredictability of what I can do.”

The 27-year-old Australian has not made it past the third round of the US Open yet, as he has been leading 0-4 at that point in the past, seeded 23rd Kyrgios. Nor has he ever successfully tapped into his indisputable skill at superb play with any semblance of consistency he’s shown recently.

“I’m glad I was finally able to show my talent to New York,” Kyrgios said after delivering 21 aces and using his usual technique to take on Medvedev. “I haven’t had many great trips here.”

He reached the semi-finals of the Grand Slam, and then the final of the Grand Slam, at the All England Club in July, before losing to Novak Djokovic In the title match. Kyrgios then won his first ATP title in three years in Washington in August. He followed this up by defeating Medvedev in the hard court tournament in Montreal soon after. Leading the ATP Tour in match wins since June.

Medvedev likened Kyrgios’ style of play on Sunday to the level he’s been up to on a regular basis Rafael Nadalwho has 22 Grand Slam titles and plays his fourth-round match on Monday against America Francis TiafoeDjokovic, who has 20 majors but is not in the US Open because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and is therefore not allowed to travel to the United States.

“I didn’t miss a lot,” Medvedev said. “It didn’t really surprise me.” “If he plays like that until the end of the tournament, he has every chance of winning it.”

Kyrgios was still Kyrgios during the match, and it was again Sunday evening.

Unsure of the relevant rule, he lost a point by running around the net to hit a ball that was going to land, then celebrated what he thought was a great play by raising his finger to make an “I’m Number 1” gesture.

During his court interview, Kyrgios shyly told the audience, “I still can’t believe the ponyhead play you put on here. I thought it was legal. It’s going to be all over SportsCenter, so I’m going to go.” [look] like an asshole.”

He shouted at his guests box. He argued with the rule of the chair and issued a warning for swearing. He hit a ball in anger that bounced off a blue wall behind a baseline, getting close to flying and landing among the spectators.

Meanwhile, Medvedev was playing well enough to win all nine sets he played in the first week and looked ready to give himself a chance to become the first man to win back-to-back titles in New York since. Roger Federer He grabbed his last five in a row from 2004 to 2008.

But the 26-year-old Russian said he was bothered by a sore throat and generally “felt a little sick”, which he attributed to the very powerful air conditioners in the US that he found “just crazy”.

Now Medvedev – whose victory over Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final ended Djokovic’s display for the first time in a calendar year at the men’s Grand Slam since 1969 – will relinquish the top spot. There is a chance for three players to replace him: Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz And the Casper Road.

“I feel like tonight was another message that the arrangement doesn’t matter,” said Kyrgios, who will meet the 27th seed. Karen Khachanov For a place in the semi-finals.

Earlier on Sunday, Rudd continued his bid to become the first number one player outside of Norway, with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2 win over. Corentin Mutit.

Rudd, the 23-year-old from Oslo, who also reached the US Open quarter-finals for the first time in his career, was already the first Norwegian man to appear in the third and fourth rounds of the Open Championship. The No. 5 seed must reach the final of the tournament to have at least a chance of becoming the highest ranked player in men’s tennis.

He will face Rod, currently the number 7 player in the world Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals. Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, advanced with a 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Kyrgios said that had he won Wimbledon, he might not have appeared at the US Open at all. If he could win a Grand Slam title, he thought, the impulse to win one would dissipate.

Just before the start of this tournament, Kyrgios sat with a small group of reporters and talked about the loss of home – his brother had recently given birth to a child; His mother was ill – and he can’t wait to return to Australia after months. He said his first-round match would be “a win for everyone”: “If I win, that means more money and another great result. If I lose, I’m going home.”

On Sunday evening, Kyrgios was asked if he still thinks this way.

“Three more games, we probably won’t have to play tennis again,” the reply came.

Then Kyrgios grinned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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