Sunday, September 4, 2022

New York, New York, USA

Karen Khachanov

Press Conference

K. KHACHANOV/P. Carreno Busta

4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Five tough sets. 3 hours 20. Assess your performance for us.

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, I had actually longer matches (smiling).

But still, yeah, it was a five-setter. First five-setter in US Open this year. Coming into that match playing against Pablo, he has really great performances in Montreal. He won his first Masters 1000. Knowing he played two times semifinals here shows that he really likes the way it is, the conditions, the courts, the way he's playing.

It was a tough battle, tough battle. Five-setter. I think the level was really high. At one point at the end of the third set, he gave up the last couple of games, but then he started to play again like crazy. He increase the level. Everything was kind of like back to normal.

I really had to fight to get this win.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does this win in particular mean to you? You've been to quarterfinals in the past in slams.

KAREN KHACHANOV: In US Open I wanted to do well. Also I felt like I was playing good level overall lately, since the second part of clay season. I was playing more consistent. I had better results, like reaching quarterfinals, semifinals. I wanted to do one more step to have bigger results.

We had a time to rest and to practice in July during Wimbledon. It kind of paying off. Even though in those two Masters I didn't do so well in terms of results, but still I was believing that my game is there.

It's a question of winning matches and keep doing what I have to do. It shows to myself that everything is possible.

I'm right now in a good state of mind, good level of tennis. I'm really happy to reach first time quarterfinals here in New York.

Q. Luidmila Samsonova said she spent the time during Wimbledon to revamp everything, hiring a mental coach. What sort of changes did you do during Wimbledon? Anything big and different?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Not really big and different. Just what you mentioned. I had time to rest so I think I had 12 days off completely with my family, with my wife and my son. Went for vacation time. Then we basically had almost three weeks hard training block like we do in off-season, kind of mini pre-season.

I played one tournament in Hamburg, 500, because also I didn't want to have a longer gap between the competition from the grass courts just before Wimbledon. I head almost straight to Washington for the American swing.

Q. We don't know for sure who your next opponent will be, but there are two possibilities. You've played Nick a couple of times. What are your thoughts on what will be the key?

KAREN KHACHANOV: I mean, Nick said by himself that he doesn't recognize himself in a way how professional he is right now.

I think the Wimbledon showed him if he does the things like he does now which kind of level he has, what he's capable of. Obviously everybody knows that, the way he's serving.

I think the thing would be the same for me, focus on serve, keep the serve. In rallies we have the same, equal chances. It will be always the question of how the point starts, with the serve and return.

Q. If you were to face Daniil, what are your thoughts on your history with him and the challenge?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, I mean, Daniil, the same. He won here last year, first slam. Now he's coming as the defending champion. He reached No. 1 in the world. That's kind of a big statement.

We played last time I think 2019 when I was 8 and he was 9 in Montreal semifinals. That match was not that good I would say from my side. That was his time to rise up. That's when he kind of started to improve more and more in 2019, second part.

I would say he is completely different type of player than Nick and myself. It would be, again, the question of always serve/return because he stays really far back. I have to mix up my game.

I can stay in the rallies because, I mean, I don't have let's say problems to stay in the long rallies. But you have to mix the game, come to the net more. You have to maybe attack his second serve. I need to attack more. You have to variety the game a lot, really focus on every point. If a little bit of disconnect, he really can grab you in. It will be tough to find a way.

Q. How did you navigate the tricky part, the end of the third set?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, that's never easy because actually I was in a good run. I was feeling more and more confident the way I was turning around the match from the beginning of second set.

All of a sudden you don't know if you continue to play the same way. Then he kind of started to serve back to normal, return, playing more aggressive again. I think he started to step in more and more and feeling better and better.

It's not easy to find a balance between keep doing what you have to do, what I was doing, then to realize if he change the game a little bit. That's not easy to accept as well.

At the end of the day it was just one break. Maybe I had break points, I don't remember, in the fourth set. I just said to myself, Okay, we have the fifth one. That's why it's best-of-five. You just have to try to find a way and continue.

I think the fifth set was really, really on a high level.

Q. The energy in New York, what have you made of it over the years? Do you like it more, managing it better this year given this is your best result?

KAREN KHACHANOV: I don't think that I manage this year better. I always mention that I like New York City and I like the energy of the crowd, the way they entertain.

I had good memories from the years before, playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, as well. It's not like something new, but always great when you go through and you have your best performance.

That obviously counts as the best right now.

Q. Do you know what show your wife wants to go to?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Right now, no. I think she wanted to go to The Music Man with Hugh Jackman. Basically she went before. Now I don't know which one. We didn't have a schedule.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
124406-1-1004 2022-09-05 01:34:00 GMT

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