Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, and Marin Cilic Reach US Open Fourth Round
(August 31, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rafael Nadal reached his 13th straight round of 16 in majors on Saturday when he beat Hyeon Chung of South Korea 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Chung ranked at 170th in the world, he’s been sidelined by injury. Back in 2018, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open. This is the 60th match-win for Nadal at the US Open.
The world No. 2 will play 2014 Marin Cilic next on Monday. Cilic, the 22nd seed beat John Isner 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(6) 6-4.
Nadal is in the fourth round only having had to play six sets due to a second-round walkover. Asked if he was not yet match tough due to lack of play he said: “You never know what’s better or worse, no? From here, the main thing, I am happy to be where I am. I’m in the fourth round, and that’s the main thing.
“Now is the moment to push, to make a step forward if I want to give me a chance to fight for the important things. That’s what I going to try. That’s all.”
“But for me personally, in some way, I will prefer to play the match. In some way is true that you save energy. So you never know what’s the best thing.”
“Well, honestly I had the first three months of the season, three, four months of the season very hard, too many issues again,” Nadal said when answering a question about how he was feeling.
“And then it’s true that since Barcelona, things have been improving. I was able to fix a little bit the body and play more or less with freedom of movements. That’s give me the chance to compete at the highest level again. And most important thing, enjoy the sport. That’s the main thing in this stage of my career more than anything else.
“Let’s see. I don’t think remain a lot of events for me this year. Just couple of ones. This one is one of the ones that you want to be ready.
“So here I am to try my best and I’m going to put my 100% to try to be ready for the next round.”
“It was very tough,” said Chung who reached the main draw through qualifying. “Always tough to play against one of the best players in the world, but I’m just trying to do my best.
“Today is not my day, but I’m really happy to play in New York after the six months’ injury.”
“The key is play well,” Nadal said of his next opponent. “That simple. If I am playing well, I going to have hopefully my chances to return a couple of points and give me chances.
“I know against big servers like them, chances are not a lot, so you need to be ready to expect a very tough one. But I need to be focused with my serve, as always. I need to be ready to accept the challenge that brings the competition in days like these ones. And I hope to be ready to play my highest level, because that’s what I going to need.”
Isner, despite the loss hit 40 aces and only four double faults while Cilic nailed 21 aces with 17 double faults.
Asked about he survived 40 aces, Cilic said: “I don’t know. You wait for your chances. Actually, either a half chance or a third of a chance, so…
“Call it either lucky, to be a little bit lucky in that third-set tiebreak or just John missing a couple of his first serves when he needed them. Just getting the return back on the 6-4 score. Just being in the rally, giving myself a shot to win the points. Just grinding it.
“You can’t do much when he’s serving like that. You have to just be positive and, you know, wait for your chance when it comes. Luckily it came at critical moment. I took it. That definitely influenced the match really a lot.”
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev survived a four-set test from Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. The German won 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(3) to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the first time.
“It’s the first time in the second week,” said Zverev. “Obviously it’s a fourth round. I don’t really want to stop here. I want to keep going. I want to keep improving my game.
“It doesn’t get easier, the opponents don’t get easier, the matches don’t get easier. We’ll see how it goes.
“But I’m happy for now.”
Pablo Andujar reached his first round of 16 in a major in his career when he beats Alexandr Bublik of Kazakstan 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Court 5.
More to follow….
More to follow….