Dan Evans produces a gritty comeback from two sets down to beat Alexei Popyrin in a gruelling match and reach the US Open fourth round.
Dan Evans produces a gritty comeback from two sets down to beat Alexei Popyrin in a gruelling match and reach the US Open fourth round.
Second seed Daniil Medvedev continued his perfect run in New York Friday as he cruised past Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the US Open for the third straight year.
The Russian, who overcame Richard Gasquet in the first round to record his 200th match win, is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows this week. The 25-year-old played with confidence against Andujar, hammering groundstrokes and winning 76 per cent (32/42) of his first-serve points to secure his victory after one hour and 56 minutes.
The World No. 2 has now compiled a 14-2 record since Wimbledon, capturing his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto and advancing to the semi-finals in Cincinnati. Medvedev, who has also lifted trophies in Marseille and Mallorca this year, will next face 24th seed Daniel Evans or Australian Alexei Popyrin.
The 12-time tour-level titlist is aiming to capture his first major title in New York, after falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets in the US Open final in 2019 and then to Novak Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open championship match. The Russian also reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows last year.
Medvedev made a fast against Andujar, breaking in the opening game of the first set as he pinned the Spaniard behind the baseline with his flat groundstrokes. The 25-year-old struck the ball with great power and consistency, committing just three unforced errors and dropping only two points on serve to lead.
Despite Andujar raising his intensity and level in the second set, he lost his serve in the fifth game. The World No. 74 was unable to convert two break points at 4/5, before firing a forehand wide as Medvedev moved to within one set of his victory. The Russian broke three times and hit seven winners in the third set to advance.
Andujar rallied from two-sets-to-love down in his opening-round victory against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin and was aiming to reach the fourth round at the US Open for the second time, after enjoying a run to the last 16 in 2019.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep advances to the fourth round of the US Open with a three-set win over Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.
Taylor Fritz joins TopCourt to share the story of his journey and development into one of the world’s brightest stars. In the American’s TopCourt class, Fritz shares the keys to his signature serve and backhand, the drills that developed his lethal groundstrokes and the parts of his game he’s working on today.
Fritz demonstrates to fans the technique and drills that have seen him leverage the serve and backhand to take him as high as No. 24 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Technique: The backhand has not only proven to be a consistent, reliable shot for Taylor, it’s also a significant weapon that has successfully seen him through tight situations in a match. In detail, Taylor also helps you take control of the point by showing you how to hit both a powerful flat serve and a tricky kick serve. In a demonstrative step-by-step approach, Taylor shows you how you can take control of points and hit a technically sound and powerful backhand and serve like his.
Drills: Taylor teaches three personally chosen unique drills in detail and showcases on-court examples of him practising the drills. While coaching “The Fritz 10” drill, Taylor describes memories of how his father used to incentivise him to complete this drill successfully and how the challenge of achieving 7/10 shots helped build consistency and confidence in his game. The “Live Approach Volley” will teach you how to transition to the net with confidence, while the “Backhand Red Light, Green Light” (one of Taylor’s favorite drills) teaches patience and shot selection.
Follow Taylor’s Tutorials At TopCourt.com
Britain’s Gordon Reid says his Paralympic men’s doubles final defeat with Alfie Hewett is “the toughest loss of his career”.
Get the popcorn ready on Friday as two #NextGenATP stars Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime challenge Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut, respectively, for a place in the Last 16 at the US Open. Two Russians, Daniil Medvedev, the 2019 finalist, and Andrey Rublev, also look to advance on stadium courts.
In arguably the match of the day, Alcaraz, the youngest player in the Top 400 of the FedEx ATP Rankings who has sent shockwaves around the tennis world this year and now, faces third seed Tsitsipas for the first time second on Arthur Ashe Stadium (not before 1:30pm).
With an athletic and powerful game, Alcaraz has won 23 of his past 28 matches (at any level) and become the first male since Goran Ivanisevic in 1989 to reach the second round at all four major championships on debut.
“He’s a young talent that has been doing very well recently,” said Tsitsipas, ahead of the clash at Flushing Meadows. “He’s been constantly improving, getting up in the rankings. He’s someone that has a good game for all surfaces. Me personally, I want to play the best of my game against him. I see him as a potential contender in the future for Grand Slam titles and other big events.”
The Spaniard has used the aftermath of his three matches this year against Top 10 opponents — Alexander Zverev in Acapulco, Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and Daniil Medvedev at Wimbledon — positively, securing victories in 10 of his past 13 matches, including his first ATP Tour crown at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag (d. Gasquet) and a Winston-Salem Open semi-final run (l. to Ymer). He is now in strong contention to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in November, currently in fourth position in the ATP Race To Milan.
The World No. 55 was impressive in beating British 26th seed Cameron Norrie and France’s Arthur Rinderknech, but if former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero’s charge is to become the youngest player to reached the US Open fourth round since Michael Chang (17) and Pete Sampras (18) in 1989, he will need to record the biggest victory of his career. In February, he beat then World No. 14 David Goffin at the Great Ocean Road Open.
World No. 3 Tsitsipas, who is closing on a place at the Nitto ATP Finals for a third straight year, has yet to reach the US Open fourth round, but comes into the match in great form following victories over 2012 champion Andy Murray and Adrian Mannarino. The Greek advanced to back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto (l. to Opelka) and at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Zverev).
View Friday’s Schedule | Singles & Doubles Draw
Photo: Andrew Ong/USTA
In another exciting third-round encounter, the highly consistent Spanish 18th seed Bautista Agut challenges 12th seed Auger-Aliassime for the third time during the night match at 7pm on Louis Armstrong Stadium. During the 2019 Davis Cup final, Auger-Aliassime switched his pattern of play to Bautista Agut’s forehand and paid the price, but last year the Canadian won 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the Cologne 1 semi-finals.
Auger-Aliassime beat Zverev en route to his first major championship quarter-final at Wimbledon in July and will be attempting to secure a US Open fourth-round berth for the second straight year. In his first two matches this week, Bautista Agut has been in great form, losing only 13 games in victories over Nick Kyrgios and Emil Ruusuvuori.
Earlier in the day on Louis Armstrong Stadium (not before 1pm), second seed Medvedev will likely tread carefully in a first-time ATP Head2Head meeting against Pablo Andujar, who is seeking the biggest win of his career. While the Spaniard has recorded only three hard-court wins this year, he has recorded Top 10 victories over Roger Federer (Geneva) and Dominic Thiem (Roland Garros). But Medvedev has won 13 of his past 15 matches during the US summer swing, including a fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers (d. Opelka) and the 200th match win of his career over Richard Gasquet in the US Open first round. The victor will play British 24th seed Daniel Evans or Alexei Popyrin (second on Court 17).
Medvedev’s compatriot, fifth seed Rublev, who is also hoping to play in Turin at the Nitto ATP Finals from 14-21 November, tackles American Frances Tiafoe, for the first time at tour-level, last on Arthur Ashe Stadium. A lot has changed since Rublev beat Tiafoe 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in the 2014 US Open junior quarter-finals. Two-time quarter-finalist Rublev has won 27 of his 43 match wins on hard courts this year, while Tiafoe seeks his third Top 10 win at a major (Kevin Anderson at 2019 Australian Open and Tsitsipas at 2021 Wimbledon) in order to become the first home favourite to reach the US Open fourth round in consecutive years since Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in 2011-12.
Four qualifiers — Peter Gojowczyk, Henri Laaksonen, Alex Molcan and Botic van de Zandschulp — also feature on day five. Laaksonen has two ATP Challenger Tour wins over Gojowczyk, ahead of their first tour-level meeting on Grandstand for the right to play Tsitsipas or Alcaraz. Not before 5pm on the same court, Slovakian Molcan, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Belgrade Open final in May, faces 11th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
Van de Zandschulp had never before visited the United States prior to last week, only seeing New York City on shows such as ‘Suits’ and ‘Person of Interest’. He meets Facundo Bagnis of Argentina third on Court 17.
Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp is into the third round of the US Open on his tournament debut. What is more amazing is that before flying to New York for the season’s final major, the 25-year-old had only seen the city on Netflix.
This has been a special trip for the No. 117 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings both on and off the court, as it is van de Zandschulp’s first time in the United States.
“[I know it] maybe sounds really strange from a tennis player,” van de Zandschulp told ATPTour.com. “This city is pretty nice. I only saw it from the movies and in a TV series. It’s my first time seeing it with my own eyes.”
The Dutchman remembers New York from Suits and Person Of Interest. But he has not been moseying around Manhattan as a tourist would during his time here. It has been all business for Van de Zandschulp, whose focus has been on tennis.
“I’ve been here to restaurants and you walk around the city a little bit, but I was planning to do some more if I lost in the tournament,” van de Zandschulp said. “That’s not happening right now, so hopefully I can only visit some stuff next week.”
THAT’S how you finish off an upset! 😱
Botic Van de Zandschulp takes out No. 8 seed Casper Ruud to advance to Round 3. pic.twitter.com/ZQBP1MFVnV
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2021
The Wageningen-native has come a long way since beginning his tennis journey at age four. His older brother, Melvin, played tennis until he was 11. Botic remembers following him to the tennis centre.
“I always had to go to the tennis court with him to go to his practice,” van de Zandschulp said. “My mother, Ingrid, played club matches in Holland at an amateur level. But a lot of the time we were at tennis clubs, so that is how I started.”
This might be his first US Open, but the right-hander’s early memories of professional tennis come from this tournament. In 2003, when he was seven, he remembers watching Andy Roddick, who eventually lifted the trophy, play for the first time. The American star hit four aces in a game, and the Dutchman was hooked.
“That’s what stuck with me,” van de Zandschulp said. “I watched a lot of Andy Roddick when I was young. I watched a lot of [Rafael] Nadal of course, and I watched a lot of [Andre] Agassi. Those are guys from when I was really young.”
Van de Zandschulp was not one of the pros who dreamt of becoming a professional tennis player from as early as he could remember.
“You start winning the matches in the juniors and winning some national tournaments. When you win, it’s always nice to play the sport,” Van de Zandschulp said. “After some years, when I was 16 or 17, I started thinking of becoming a pro.”
The Dutchman was not a heralded junior on the international stage, never cracking the world’s Top 150. And various injuries delayed his progression early on as a professional.
Van de Zandschulp then had to move through the ITF Futures circuit to position himself to compete on the ATP Challenger Tour.
“The only thing that I could do is play the tournaments and try to win them. In the Futures, I won a lot at the beginning,” Van de Zandschulp said. “If you win matches, you don’t feel sorry for yourself or you don’t feel bad. I knew once I got into the Challengers, I knew it could go fast and then I could play qualifying for the Grand Slams.”
In 2019, he broke through. Botic cracked the Top 300 and 200 in the FedEx ATP Rankings that year, claiming his biggest prize when he lifted the ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Hamburg that year.
“I started to do well at Challengers. After that was Covid, so it stopped me [improving] my [FedEx ATP] Ranking, but not my game,” Van de Zandschulp said. “From then on, I think I’ve been progressing on an upwards line and I’m trying to continue that.”
In 2021, van de Zandschulp has proven that he can compete with the world’s best. The Dutchman went 11-1 in Grand Slam qualifying. At Wimbledon, the one major where he lost in qualifying, he gained entry into the main draw as a lucky loser and made the second round. Van de Zandschulp also earned an impressive victory at Roland Garros against Hubert Hurkacz, this year’s Miami Open presented by Itau champion.
In the second round at Flushing Meadows, Botic upset eighth seed Casper Ruud to reach the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time and now he can break even more ground when he plays Argentine Facundo Bagnis on Friday for a place in the Round of 16.
The World No. 117’s big short-term goal is to crack the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time, which he is likely to do with a third main draw win in New York. But Van de Zandschulp is not ready to stop there.
“Of course it’s a big deal [making the third round], but I think I can go further in the tournament if I play like today,” van de Zandschulp said. “That’s what I’m focussed on. For me it’s not the end of the tournament if I make the third round. That’s now how I’m [thinking]. Of course it’s the first time for me, but you always want to do better.”
Seventh seed Denis Shapovalov dished up Grand Slam revenge and a shot-making masterclass against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena to book a third-round berth at the US Open on Thursday night.
In his fifth US Open, the Canadian advanced 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and seven minutes to secure a showdown with unseeded South African Lloyd Harris. He notched 50 winners to his opponent’s 13, including nine aces, and won 85 per cent of first-serve points.
Carballes Baena sprung the upset in the pair’s only prior ATP Head2Head encounter – 8-6 in the fifth set of a five-hour thriller at Roland Garros last year. The No. 95 in the FedEx ATP Rankings set about a repeat of that boilover on Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday night when he held two set points at 6/4 in the opening-set tie-break.
Half of Shapovalov’s six double faults for the set came in the tie-break, but he was handed a lifeline when the Spaniard missed a forehand pass from mid-court on the first set point. It was the only reprieve Shapovalov needed as he eked out the first set after 65 minutes and dropped just three games more.
In July, the Canadian reached his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon, where he defeated Andy Murray, Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov en route. Since his deep run at the All England Club, the 22-year-old – who reached the quarter-finals in New York before a five-set defeat to Pablo Carreno Busta last year – had struggled on hard courts.
But after opening defeats to Frances Tiafoe on home soil in Toronto and to Benoit Paire in Cincinnati, he snapped a four-match losing streak and posted his first win as a Top 10 player against Federico Delbonis in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
World No. 16 Jannik Sinner has set an entertaining US Open third-round showdown with French shotmaker Gael Monfils after weathering an unexpected challenge from 18-year-old American wild card Zachary Svajda at Flushing Meadows on Friday night.
The 20-year-old Italian, who is in strong contention to make a dream debut at the Nitto ATP Finals on home soil in Turin this November, survived a tense third-set tie-break against the World No. 716 before clinching a decisive break in the ninth game of the fourth set to set up the 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 6-4 victory.
Sinner seeks his second appearance in the second week of a Grand Slam this year following his run to the fourth round of Roland Garros. A champion at last month’s ATP 500 in Washington, D.C., Sinner had not survived the first round of the US Open in two prior appearances.
“Today was for sure not easy. I didn’t [know] my opponent,” Sinner said. “I tried to stick to my game plan. The first set worked well. The second set was a little bit a roller coaster. I was down 5-2, and I managed somehow to break him when he was serving for the set. The tie-break, I played well. The third set went in his way.
“So the level today, I think it was quite high to be honest. He didn’t miss many balls,” Sinner added. “I tried to play my game. Sometimes I had to go more forward, which I didn’t do today, so I was a little bit struggling… At the end I’m very happy about my performance.”
Sinner will now face World No. 20 Monfils, who edged American Steve Johnson 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Monfils fired 15 aces and won 25 of 31 points at the net. Sinner and Monfils are tied at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.
“It was a tough match,” Monfils said of his win. “Against Stevie is always an interesting match… I felt Stevie was slicing great the ball with the backhand… I had to put up I think a great skill to beat him, serving good, great defence, returning not bad actually, and a bit of luck to win this one.”
#NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby upstaged fellow Californian Taylor Fritz to reach the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time at Flushing Meadows on Thursday night. The 20-year-old further cemented his name as one of the best current US prospects with a 6-7(7), 7-6(10), 7-5, 6-2 victory over the World No. 42 on Grandstand after four hours and six minutes.
Sixth in the ATP Race to Milan, Brooksby’s 33 winners were 26 fewer than his opponent’s, but his 48 unforced errors paled in comparison to Fritz’s 74. Serving at 4-5, 15-15 in the third set, Brooksby showed great variety to pull off the shot of the match when he dragged Fritz in on a deft backhand drop shot before he flicked the forehand winner around the net post.
It proved pivotal as he went on to claim five straight games, including a crucial break to open the fourth set. Nerves came into play as Brooksby served for the match, but he finally sealed his place in the third round on his seventh match point.
“I’m feeling great to get through that one. There were a lot of different things that run through the mind, during the match and after. But I was proud within myself,” Brooksby said. “After a tough first set I was a little more down on myself and was able to switch it around and stay focused on what’s in my control. It definitely showed in being able to turn that around today, so I’m happy with my growth mentally, and also my game today.
“It’s really exciting. That’s what you do all the training for. Those are the moments to enjoy the most… a place like the US Open, my home Grand Slam, it doesn’t get more exciting than that. I loved that atmosphere.”
The younger of the two Americans was outside the Top 200 in the FedEx ATP Rankings less than four months ago, but a run to the final in Newport on grass and the Washington D.C. semi-finals on hard court helped him crack the Top 100 earlier this month. He will next meet 21st seed Aslan Karatsev, following the Russian’s earlier comeback from two sets down to beat Australian Jordan Thompson.
“I played him at the French [lost first round in 2021] and I’m sure we’ll go over the game plan of what to learn from when the time comes,” Brooksby said. “It’s the third round and I feel like I can keep pushing it further. I’m excited to get out there again and see what I can keep bringing.”