NEW YORK - Nick Kyrgios said winning is the only thing that matters at a Grand Slam and that he was "devastated" by his five-set loss to Karen Khachanov in the US Open quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The combative Australian went toe-to-toe with Khachanov but did not do enough to counter the Russian's punishing serve as he fell 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 to end his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title.
"I'm just devastated obviously," Kyrgios told reporters. "Just feel like it was either winning it all or nothing at all, to be honest. I feel like I've just failed at this event right now."
Kyrgios said Khachanov, who saved seven of the nine break points he faced, was the better player in the biggest moments as the 27th seed punched his ticket to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time.
"But all credit to Karen. He's a fighter. He's a warrior," he said.
Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios had knocked out world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in the previous round but the 27-year-old said lifting the trophy was all that mattered.
"All people remember at a Grand Slam, whether you win or you lose," he said.
Kyrgios is scheduled to play in Tokyo at the start of October but he admitted he was finding it hard to summon enthusiasm to return to the grind of the tour.
"I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time really. You should just run up and show up at a Grand Slam. That's what you're remembered by."
Sent packing at the final major of the year, he said it will be an agonising wait until the Australian Open kicks off the 2022 Grand Slam season.
"It's just like you got to start it all again... It's just devastating," he said.
"It's heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for everyone that I know that wants me to win."
Before Tuesday, Kyrgios had the most wins - 26 - since the start of the grass-court season going back to June than any other player.
He was seen as one of the title favourites in New York after the fourth-round defeat of four-time champion Rafael Nadal and the absence of three-time winner Novak Djokovic, who beat him in the Wimbledon final. REUTERS, AFP