Nick Kyrgios was left absolutely shattered after his loss in the quarter-finals at the US Open, but his run to the last eight in New York is set to see him return to the world's top 20 for the first time in almost three years.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after losing in five sets to Karen Khachanov, Kyrgios said he "felt like shit" and was "devastated".
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However the rewards for making the quarter-finals are not insignificant.
The 27-year-old will climb five spots in the rankings to World No.20 on Monday, leapfrogging Alex de Minaur as Australia's No.1 male player after slumping to 137th in the standings in February.
And he could be set to climb even further depending on his schedule for the rest of the year.
The Wimbledon runner-up said he was too "devastated" to consider any consolations after exiting the season's final major, saying the four grand slam tournaments were the only things that mattered to him.
The Aussie star said he was headed straight back to Canberra to see family and friends, including his ailing mother and father, following a gruelling five months away from Australia.
Sponsored by Yonex, Kyrgios is committed to playing the Japan Open from October 3-9.
But beyond that his schedule between now and the Australian summer is unclear.
Kyrgios recently announced that he won't be playing at the Laver Cup later this month, choosing to spend some much-needed time with family instead.
He will automatically be entered in the Paris Masters - starting on October 31 - as it is a mandatory ATP 1000 event for elite players.
He is also on track to qualify with Thanasi Kokkinakis for the season-ending ATP Finals in doubles in mid-November in Turin.
But whether or not he plays either event remains to be seen.
"Honestly, I don't even really care about any other tournament. Now having success at a grand slam, it's just like no other tournament really matters," Kyrgios said before leaving New York.
"That's all people remember at a grand slam, whether you win or you lose. I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time, really."
One (small) consolation for @NickKyrgios is that he'll be back in the top 20 next week. Of course, had Wimbledon had points, he'd have been closing in on the top 10
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) September 7, 2022
I'm genuinely thrilled for @karenkhachanov he is one of the nicest, most sincere and genuine players on the tour.
No shame for @NickKyrgios he has had an amazing few months is back in the Top 20 and now has time to go back to be with his Mum and and I wish her all the best. https://t.co/pbtLP2CJWJ
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) September 7, 2022
— Rob 101 💙 (@RobertLugton) September 7, 2022
Nick Kyrgios can climb into world's top 10
But in actual fact they won't be a waste of time, with Kyrgios a very real chance of grabbing a top-16 seeding at the Australian Open in January depending on his results for the rest of 2022.
Having cut his 2021 campaign short after the Laver Cup last September, Kyrgios has zero ranking points to defend between now and the end of the year.
That means any event he plays in will see his ranking go up.
Any points he accrues will be gold and go a long way towards securing an all-important top-16 seeding for the Australian Open, a tournament that dearly matters to Kyrgios.
A top-16 seeding at Melbourne Park would guarantee Kyrgios avoids running into a higher-ranked rival until at least the second week.
The Japan Open, where de Minaur, Alexander Zverev and US Open semi-finalist Casper Ruud are also competing, offers 500 ranking points to the champion.
The Paris Masters offers 1000 points to the winner, leaving Kyrgios - currently with 1780 points to his name - with very much to play for in 2022.
A top-10 ranking is also well within his reach if he continues the form he has shown in recent month - but only if he plays on.
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