The string of upsets have continued at the Flushing Meadows as the 2014 champion Marin Cilic of Croatia and the top American John Isner were shown the exit on Day 5. The Wimbledon semi finalist Sam Querrey is the only remaining American in the draw, while Denis Shapovalov of Canada also advanced into the round of 16 on Friday.
The fifth seeded Cilic who was the runner up at Wimbledon, was playing his first tournament since then and missed the Master’s series events in Montreal and in Cincinnati where he was the defending champion. He took the first set 6-4, but the diminutive Argentine who is 5 ft 7 inches grew in stature and confidence as the match progressed and won 4-6,7-5,7-5,6-4 in three hours and twenty three minutes.
In the night session, the elder of the Zverev siblings, Mischa, seeded 23rd, easily took out the 10th seeded in form John Isner of the U.S.A. in straight sets 6-4,6-3,7-6(5) on Arthur Ashe stadium. Isner had won the Newport and Washington D.C. titles this season but as he has done in the past failed to rise to the occasion.
Sam Querrey is now the lone American in the men’s section of the draw as he came from behind to beat unheralded Radu Albot of Macedonia 4-6,6-2,6-4,6-4 and next plays Mischa Zverev. The 16th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille also dropped the first set but quickly rebounded to beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 2-6,6-3,6-4,6-4 to set up a meeting with the 29th seeded Schwartzman.
In an all Italian affair, 35 year old Paolo Lorenzi beat the 28 year old Thomas Fabbiano 6-2,6-4,6-4 and will now play the 28th seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa who beat the Croat Borna Coric with a surprisingly one sided 6-4,6-3,6-2 win. The 20 year old Coric had caused the biggest upset of the tournament in the men’s singles as he beat the Montreal winner Alexander Zverev of Germany in the second round.
The last two spots have been sealed by the 12th seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta who beat the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3,6-4,6-3 to set up a meeting with the left handed Denis Shapovalov of Canada who was leading 3-6,6-3,6-3,1-0 when Kyle Edmund of Great Britain retired due to injury.
The following is the list of matches in the top half of the men’s draw to be played on Saturday with my pick mentioned first :-
Rafael Nadal (1) v. Leonardo Mayer (-)
Alexander Dolgopolov (-) v. Victor Troicki (-)
David Goffin (9) v. Gael Monfils (18)
Damir Dzumhur (-) v. Alexander Rublev (-)
Roger Federer (3) v. Feliciano Lopez (31)
Phillip Kohlschreiber (33) v. John Millman (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (24) v. Roberto Bautista Agut (11)
Dominic Thiem (6) v. Adrian Mannarino (30)
The fairy tale return of Maria Sharapova continues as she won the last match of the day on Arthur Ashe stadium against the 18 year old American Sofia Kenin after a somewhat patchy 7-5,6-2 win. However the Americans Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens progressed into the round of sixteen. The five time champion Venus Williams, seeded ninth, beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3,6-4, while Stephens beat the last remaining Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-2,6-4. The two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic routed the Frenchwoman Carolina Garcia 6-0,6-4.
The reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza dominated the Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1 in a repeat of their Wimbledon semi final. The German Julia Goerges beat Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-3, 6-3. Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia beat Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-3 to end a miserable day for Croatia when Cilic and Coric also lost among the men. In the only match to go to three sets, the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro beat the Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Following is the list of matches in the top half of the women’s draw to be played on Saturday with my pick mentioned first :-
Karolina Pliskova (1) v. Shuai Zhang (27)
Jennifer Brady (-) v. Monica Nicolescu (-)
Coco Vandeweghe (20) v. Agnieska Radwanska (10)
Lucie Safarova (-) v. Kurumi Nara (-)
Elina Svitolina (4) v. Shelby Rogers (-)
Madison Keys (15) v. Elina Vesnina (17)
Jelena Ostapenko (12) v. Daria Kasatkina (-)
Naomi Osaka (-) v. Kaia Kanepi (-)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]