(September 4, 2022) FLUSHING MEADOWS – In a battle of some unbelievable shot-making, No. 23 seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia upset defending champion and No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia 7-6 (11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth-round off the US Open on Sunday night to gain his first quarterfinal berth in New York. Kyrgios saved three set points in the first set tiebreak.
“I just feel like every time I played here, I’ve just played really average,” Kyrgios said. “Like, I just don’t feel like I’ve ever felt settled in New York. I feel like I kind of get distracted very easily. I feel like I just haven’t shown Flushing Meadows what I’m about really.
“Obviously there’s controversy, there’s flare, there’s this, there’s that. But the discipline as well as the hard work intertwined with that as well. I feel like this time around…
“I hadn’t won a match on Ashe before this week, now I’ve won two against two quality opponents. I feel like I’ve been able to showcase. There’s a lot of celebrities here, a lot of important people here watching. I wanted to get on that court and show them I am able to put my head down and play and win these big matches.
“For the tennis world I think it’s important as well. People were really starting to doubt my ability to pull out matches like this at majors. I’m really proud of myself honestly because it hasn’t been easy dealing with all the criticism.”
“The first set I guess was the most important thing. I feel like if he’d got that first set, it was going to be pretty much an impossible task for me to come back and win.
“I just thought I played the right way. I returned unbelievable today. Just thought the third and fourth set were just so free. I was just having a lot of fun, embracing every moment out on Ashe today. Really proud of that.
“Obviously I felt like I disrupted his rhythm a little bit, didn’t let him kind of get comfy behind the baseline, play his style of tennis. I think that’s what you have to do.
“But I was overall pretty happy with my performance.”
“Nick played good,” said Medvedev, who will fall out of the No. 1 ranking. “I mean, it was pretty even till the third set, then he got a little bit the better of me.
“Physically I started feeling little bit worse in the third set, so I think that was a little bit the key. I don’t know how he was. Maybe he was also. Yeah, physically I started just feeling a little bit more tired.
“It’s a pity because today I felt a little bit sick. I mean, the thing is in USA I get sick once time for sure in the swing because the AC is just crazy. Last year it happened in Cincinnati. So that was a good thing because, I mean, usually you don’t get sick two times in two, three weeks.
“I mean, the thing is that in the lounge or somewhere I can cover myself. But even in the locker room, I don’t know in Fahrenheit, but probably like 68 degrees or something. You go shower, you sweat, then you come. If you get little bit relaxed for few minutes, like after the match you sit there five minutes, you can get sick.
“I felt my throat a little bit today. I think that physically maybe that played a little bit of a role. At the same time it’s not an excuse at all because Nick played good, he beat me in Montreal, I was not sick.”
Kyrgios will play Karen Khachanov for a spot in the semifinals.
No. 12 seed Coco Gauff advanced to her first US Open quarterfinal with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Zhang Shuai. Zhang was serving for the second set up 5-3. Gauff won 4 straight games to close out the match. She’ll play Caroline Garcia for a spot in the semis.
“I thought the match was very high quality,” noted the 18-year-old American. “I feel like I was saying to my coach I feel like I got no free points in that match. Same with her, I don’t think I was giving away any free points, despite the double-faults.”
“I’m super happy with how I played. It was mentally and physically a tough match. But I think that shows all the practice is coming together.”
“It feels insane. I mean, Ashe Stadium chanting my name?” Gauff, is yet to drop a set in the tournament, said during her on-court interview. “I was trying not to smile on the bench on the changeover. I was trying to stay in the moment.”
Gauff is the youngest American woman into the U.S. Open quarterfinals since Melanie Oudin was 17 in 2009.
She’ll take on 17th seed Caroline Garcia who beat Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4, 6-1.
“I’m definitely very happy with this win, and Alison was a tough opponent for me in the past so I’m really glad to get my first win against her and to be in the quarterfinal of US Open is a great feeling,” said the Frenchwoman.
“I’m super excited actually to play Coco in U.S., in New York, quarterfinal of slam, it’s great, she said. “She already have some experience with the final in Roland Garros. She’s a tough player, doing really good this year, very consistent, still very young.
“But, yeah, it’s a great match to play, quarterfinal of a slam is a battle, is a challenge, and I will get myself ready for it.”
“She’s obviously a great player, even though she’s had ups and downs, Gauff said of Garcia. “I think right now she’s playing probably the best tennis — I don’t know. I think she’s playing the best tennis she’s played in a long time.
“It’s going to be a challenge. When you play these players that are hot, I think it’s more of a mental challenge. You just got to accept she’s going to hit some great shots, because I know she will.
“I think my mentality has been great. I played I feel like two similar opponents, Maddie Keys, who can hit some unbelievable shots from the wings. Same with Shuai today. She was hitting some great shots. I think I was doing a good job of accepting it, clapping my hands, moving on to the next point. I think I’m going to have to do that for the next match.”
No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini rallied from a set and a break down to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. The Italian has now reached the quarterfinals. It will be his fifth major quarterfinal in the last five major appearances.
“Yeah, really tough match,” said the Italian. “I was down a set and a break, and I think he was playing a really good level of tennis. I wasn’t feeling bad. It was just he was just playing better than me. I kept believing in my game, my strokes. I was able to take the second set in tiebreak, I think that was the key of the game. Two sets to love down would have been tougher.
“Then, yeah, a fight, ups and downs. A lot of humidity today. Sweating a lot.
“But, yeah, I’m really happy, because in the fifth I was feeling good. The energy was good. Unfortunately I think he got injured a little bit, and, yeah, that’s not the way you want to finish your match. But I was already up a break, so I was feeling the momentum switch, yeah.”
Berrettini will take on Casper Ruud for a place in semifinals.
On playing the Norwegian Ruud:
“We kind of have like similar game. We like to play, like to run around our forehands. You know, like putting a lot of spin on the ball, being aggressive.
“I think the key is like to be aggressive before him. I’m going to try to make him run and not gonna run too much. Yeah, the key I think is to be aggressive, to use my weapons, my serve, obviously my forehand.
“We played like a month ago. Obviously, it was on clay, entirely different. We always have tough matches. We know each other. I’m sure it’s going to be a great match.”
No. 5 seed Casper Ruud defeated qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 to advance.
Ruud must reach the final for a chance at No. 1. He is already the first Norwegian man to appear in the 3rd round and 4th round at the US Open.
“It was pretty well all around. A little bit up and down in the third set, but I think the scoreline lies a little bit when it comes to the sets that I won. 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 seems pretty easy, but it was tough. All the games we played, it was close. And I was fortunate in some situations to get the breaks here and there. Things were going my way.
“Very happy with it. Yeah, happy that I didn’t need to play over four hours today. So I’ll, you know, take care of the rest of the day off and the day off tomorrow and be ready for the quarterfinal.”
Ruud on playing Berrettini:
“Yeah, he’s dangerous obviously on all surfaces. I think this is probably one of his favorite tournaments. He’s done very well many years in a row. I remember when he sort of had his breakthrough and made semis here. I believe it was maybe three or four years ago, and I think that was his first semis of a slam.
“He’s a couple years older than myself, so he’s someone I have looked up to and sort of taken inspiration from from his career, because he broke into the top 10 three, four years ago, and has been able to keep a high level for many years already.
“He will throw big serves, big forehands. He has big weapons. I think he has a beautiful slice from the backhand side that he likes to use, which can work well on these courts. They are pretty fast this year.
“We played back in Gstaad a couple of weeks or months ago, so we know each other quite well. We played each other sometimes. It’s going to be a tough challenge, for sure.”
The Tokyo silver medalist and 27th seed Karen Khachanov rallied to win in five sets against the Tokyo bronze medalist and 12th seed, Pablo Carreño Busta 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in three hours and 21 minutes to reach the US Open quarterfinals for the first time. It’s the third time in his career that he’s made a major final eight.
“I had actually longer matches,” Khachanov said with a smile.
“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.”
On Kyrgios. “He is looking very professional now. Everybody knows his level when he is on. It will be a question of how the point starts.” On Medvedev. “He is the champion, number #1. Our last match was in 2019 and wasn’t good from my side…”
Ajla Tomljanovic continued her run at the US Open. The conqueror of Serena Williams in her last match on Friday saved 8 set points in the first set and beat Liudmilla Samsonova 7-6(8) 6-1.
“Yeah, just feels really good to back up a win that I think got a lot of attention,” said the Aussie. “Just felt like it’s been a really big 48 hours. I didn’t really feel like myself today the whole day. I don’t know, just felt a little bit drained. After that slow start, I just didn’t want to go out like that.
“Picked myself up, fought back really hard, played some quality tennis after that.”
“Today was, like, Oh, my gosh, I’m actually in the quarters, whoa. How the match was going, after that slow start and her playing well, the finish line felt very far away.
“It was more kind of maybe positive emotions today, just positive, whereas Friday it was, like, Oh, my God, I really did this, but, wow, I’m the biggest villain in New York right now.”
Ajla Tomljanovic will play No. 5 seed Ons Jabeur who beat Veronika Kudermetova 7-6(1), 6-4.
More to follow….