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Medvedev to face Dutch qualifier in US Open quarterfinals

AFP/New York
Filed on September 6, 2021 | Last updated on September 6, 2021 at 12.14 am
Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, celebrates after defeating Daniel Evans, of the United Kingdom.— AP

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.


Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev defeated British 24th seed Daniel Evans on Sunday to reach the US Open quarter-finals, where he will face unheralded Dutch qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp.

Medvedev advanced over the Englishman 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, making his fourth trip to the last eight in the past five Grand Slams and his third in a row at the US Open 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.

“Now I just want to make it to the finals again to have another thing to remember, and hopefully a better one,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev next faces 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.

“First time for me in America and it feels great,” said Van de Zandschulp, who wondered how his homeland is reacting to his run.

“No one expected me to reach the quarter-finals,” he said. “I think they are amazed and hopefully proud.”

An Evans double fault handed Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead and the Russian held three times to take the first set.

Medvedev broke with a backhand winner to begin the second set. Evans broke back to 3-3 on a netted Medvedev forehand, only for the Russian to break back 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.

Another fell when Van de Zandschulp, a US Open debutante in his deepest Grand Slam run, eliminated Schwartzman.

Van de Zandschulp became the first Dutchman in a Slam quarter-final since 2004 at Wimbledon and at the US Open since 2003.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed from Ukraine, 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.

“I was really excited,” Svitolina said. “I know how big a fighter is Simona. I had to bring my best game. For sure I’m happy with the win.

“Definitely I have goosebumps right now.”

Svitolina, who hasn’t dropped a set this week, made her deepest Slam runs to the 2019 US Open and Wimbledon semi-finals.

Svitolina, a week shy of her 27th birthday, will next play either German 16th seed Angelique Kerber, whose three Grand Slam titles include the 2016 US Open, or 18-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who ousted 2020 champion Naomi Osaka.

Seven of the top nine women’s seeds reached the last 16 with Osaka and top-ranked Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty exiting early.

Former world number one Halep, the 12th seed from Romania, had 22 unforced errors. She surrendered late breaks on errant backhands in both sets to fall in 76 minutes.

“Too many unforced errors from my side,” Halep said. “I think I rushed. I over-hit sometimes. She was responding very well.”

Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who upset Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, will face 141st-ranked German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in a later match.

Alcaraz or Gojowczyk will have a quarter-final against either Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or American Frances Tiafoe, with one of the four assured of playing his first Grand Slam semi-final.

Alcaraz would be the youngest US Open men’s quarter-finalist since Brazilian Thomaz Koch in 1963.





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