Teen stars Leylah Fernandez and Carlos Alcaraz backed up their upset wins over Naomi Osaka and Stefanos Tistispas in the last match by reaching their first Grand Slam quarter-final while Dutch qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp played an epic five-setter to reach the last eight at US Open on Sunday.
Canadian teen defeated German 16th seed and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 while Spaniard Alcaraz downed 141st-ranked German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
Alcaraz, ranked 55th, is the youngest US Open men’s quarter-finalist since Brazilian Thomaz Koch in 1963. The Spaniard will face Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime who beat American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-4.
Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev defeated British 24th seed Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, making his fourth trip to the last eight in the past five Grand Slams as he chases his first Slam title. Medvedev, who lost this year’s Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic and the 2019 US Open final to Rafael Nadal, has not dropped a set in four matches.
He next faces the 117th-ranked Van de Zandschulp, who outlasted Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 in four hours and 20 minutes.
“I don’t really have words for it,” Van de Zandschulp said. “Played so many matches. Some of them I was on the brink of defeat but I pulled through and won them.”
He also matched the best showing by any US Open qualifier, last-eight runs by Frenchman Nicolas Escude in 1999 and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in 2008.
An Evans double fault handed Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead and the Russian held three times to take the first set.
After trading second-set breaks to 3-3, the Russian broke at love in the seventh game and hold out from there.
In the third set, Medvedev broke on a forehand winner in the third game and took the final eight points, holding and breaking at love for the match.
With only nine seeds among the men’s last 16, it’s the fewest seeds to advance so far at a Slam since nine at Wimbledon in 2013 and at a US Open since eight in 2005.
Seven of the top nine women’s seeds reached the last 16 with Osaka and top-ranked Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty exiting early.
Fernandez, who turns 19 on Monday, advanced to a first Slam quarter-final against Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed from Ukraine.
Svitolina, who turns 27 next Sunday, beat two-time major winner Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 to reach her eighth Grand Slam quarter-final. Svitolina, coming off a WTA title in Chicago, stretched her win streak to nine matches.
“That’s going to be a very tough match,” Fernandez said. “She returns a lot of balls. She’s aggressive. I’m just going to go on court and try to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
After an exchange of early breaks, Svitolina broke on an errant backhand in the eighth game and held to claim the opening set after 34 minutes.
Former world No 1 Halep, the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion, netted a backhand to give Svitolina a break for a 2-1 edge but broke back in the next game with a backhand cross-court winner.
Svitolina, broke to lead 4-3 when Halep netted a backhand, held to 5-3 and broke again for the victory after 76 minutes when Halep netted a backhand.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who made a Slam-best run to July’s Wimbledon semi-finals, eliminated Belgian 15th seed Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-1.
“I work so hard to play this game at this level,” Sabalenka said. “I worked my ass really hard to get here. I work so hard to get these wins. I will do everything I can each match.”
Sabalenka will next face Czech eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova, the reigning French Open champion, who beat ninth seed Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 7-6(4) in a late-night match.
Results, 4th round
Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0
Botic van de Zandschulp (NED) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x11) 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1
Daniil Medvedev (RUS x2) bt Daniel Evans (GBR x24) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x12) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4
Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Simona Halep (ROM x12) 6-3, 6-3
Leylah Fernandez (CAN) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x16) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE x8) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x9) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2) bt Elise Mertens (BEL x15) 6-4, 6-1
With AFP Inputs
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