Novak Djokovic won again on Friday to remain unbeaten in 2020 before Borna Coric staged an incredible comeback to oust fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Day 5 of the US Open.
Earlier in the day, Naomi Osaka extended her winning streak to seven matches to reach the fourth round, where she was joined by former world No.1 Angelique Kerber.
Sixth seed Petra Kvitova was another multiple major champion to advance, while men’s No.5 seed Alexander Zverev reached the last 16 in New York for the second year running.
Djokovic 26-0 in 2020
The world No.1 continued his flawless season with a comfortable victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, the 28th seed.
After beating the German 6-3 6-1 at last week’s Western & Southern Open, Djokovic completed a similar victory over the best-of-five set format, winning 6-3 6-3 6-1 to progress to a fourth-round meeting with 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.
Following Djokovic into Ashe was Kvitova, who ended the run of American Jessica Pegula – victorious in seven of her past eight matches coming in – to reach her 20th Grand Slam fourth round, where Shelby Rogers awaits.
In back-to-back matches at Louis Armstrong Stadium, fifth seed Alexander Zverev and No.4 seed Stafenos Tsitsipas played their third-round matches – with vastly different outcomes.
Zverev saw off Adrian Mannarino in four sets and next plays Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a place in his first US Open quarterfinal, yet Tsitsipas blew six match points to lose in five to Coric.
Upset of the day
Tsitsipas looked assured of booking a fourth-round meeting with Australia’s Jordan Thompson when he moved ahead 5-1 in the fourth set.
But despite earning a total of six match points – including three in a row when serving at 5-4, 40-0 – the Greek star made errors on all of them.
Coric fought back to send the match into a fifth, where Tsitsipas again went up a break.
But he could not hold off the dogged Croatian, who completed a 6-7(2) 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6(4) triumph in four hours and 36 minutes.
Former champs Osaka, Kerber advance
Japan’s Osaka, a US Open champion in 2018, was stretched to three sets for the second time at this tournament before eventually getting on top of 18-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.
Osaka’s 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2 victory sets up a meeting with No.14 seed Anett Kontaveit for the second straight week; Kontaveit, who beat Magda Linette in straight sets, lost to Osaka in last week’s Western & Southern Open quarterfinals.
Kerber, the 2016 US Open winner, is yet to drop a set so far in New York; her 6-3 6-4 victory over Ann Li moved her through to a fourth-round battle against the in-form Jennifer Brady.
Brady, seeded No.28, ended Caroline Garcia’s run with a 6-3 6-3 win and has now won eight of her last nine matches on US hard courts.
Eighth seed Petra Martic and Kazakh Yulia Putintseva were also winners on Friday to round out the top quarter, and will clash for a place in the quarterfinals.
Goffin into round four, Shapovalov next
Goffin ended the run of surging Serb Filip Krajinovic, the 26th seed who had won five of his past six matches in New York.
The Belgian’s business-like 6-1 7-6(5) 6-4 win was almost as brisk as Pablo Carreno Busta’s one-hour, 54-minute victory over Ricardas Berankis, which sent the 20th-seeded Spaniard into the US Open fourth round for the first time since his 2017 semifinal run.
Carreno Busta could next face Djokovic, while Goffin will play 12th seed Denis Shapovalov, who battled back from 5-2 down in the fourth to beat No.19 seed Taylor Fritz 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2.
There were breakthroughs for Australia’s Jordan Thompson and 21-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who both progressed to the fourth round of a Grand Slam event for the first time.
Thompson’s straight-sets triumph over Mikhail Kukushkin books a meeting with either Tsitsipas or Borna Coric, while 99th-ranked Davidovich Fokina – a four-set victor over Brit Cameron Norrie – next plays the winner of the Zverev-Adrian Mannarino clash.
Quotes of the day
“I’ve been in the kind of role of the favourite position quite a few times in my career, and most of the matches that I play, I’m expected to win as a top player, and there’s that pressure and expectations always. But it’s part of what I do – I embrace the pressure.”
- Novak Djokovic, when asked how it feels to have a ‘target on his back’ at the US Open.
“I felt I had the experience the last two years losing in five sets. Felt like my opponents really raised their game, stepped up their level and intensity in that fifth set. I tried to do the same today.”
- Denis Shapovalov, on his come-from-behind victory over Taylor Fritz.
“It's weird. Definitely weird. It's US Open, but normally I'm screaming like this. Nobody could hear it that well because the people are gone (laughter). This time, every time I scream, I was like, 'Oh, it was too loud. Oh, no, that's too much.'”
- Petra Kvitova’s famous “pojd!” rings out in an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“She was very good. Like, I’m kind of scared of how she’s going to be in the future.” (laughter)
– Naomi Osaka on Marta Kostyuk, after progressing to the fourth round of the US Open for the third straight year.
“I have great memories, and it's a special tournament for me, especially because I won it here once. And 2011 everything starts here for me, so I have good memories, which gives me also the confidence that I can play well here.”
– Angelique Kerber, a US Open champion in 2016 and semifinalist in 2011.
Stat of the day
ATP Media Info have reported that with Corentin Moutet’s four-set win over Dan Evans – a second-round match held over to Friday due to rain – there are 11 men aged 22 or under through to round three.
This is the most at the US Open since 1992, and the most at any Slam since 13 reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2005.
The players this time around? Tsitsipas, Moutet, Davidovich Fokina, Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, Frances Tiafoe, Alex de Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime and JJ Wolf.
Tweet of the day
Tsitsipas comes to terms with that five-set defeat.
This is probably the saddest and funniest at the same time thing that has ever happened in my career!— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) September 5, 2020
Day 6: ones to watch
Saturday's blockbuster pits superstar Americans Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens against one another in the second match of the day at Ashe – their first meeting in more than five years.
On the same court under lights, second seed Dominic Thiem will face a tough test against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, while on Armstrong, No.2 seed Sofia Kenin takes on Ons Jabeur in an AO 2020 quarterfinal rematch.
Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka will look to extend her winning streak to eight when she plays Polish rising star Iga Swiatek, while Court 5 hosts an intriguing clash of styles between No.11 seed Karen Khachanov and 21st seed Alex de Minaur of Australia.