John Isner pulled off a five setter to become the only American man into the quarterfinals. Rafael Nadal faced four sets, while Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova eased through their matches to set up some compelling quarterfinals on the women’s side.
John Isner’s pretty famous for some epic matches that have lasted five plus hours at Wimbledon, but his five set win over Canada’s Milos Raonic in the U.S. Open fourth round clocked in at only three and a half hours, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The father-to-be hit 56 winners and 20 aces from the big server on home turf. He will now face third seed Juan Martin del Potro in their quarterfinal match on Tuesday.
“This crowd kept me in it – it was fantastic,” said Isner in his on-court interview afterwards, via Reuters. “This is why us tennis players train so hard … to be in a match like this in front of a crowd like this.”
He’ll have to face another crowd favorite, del Potro, who has been traveling with his own pro-Argentine fan club throughout the tournament. Chanting ‘ole, ole, Delpo,’ they will be hard to drown out. But perhaps the home crowd can work some magic for the six foot 10 American, considering he’s the last US man left in the draw.
Juan Martin del Potro quickly dispatched young Borna Coric, continuing his three-set winning streak, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Coric had to deal with a thigh issue during the match, but del Potro has displayed the top form that saw him win the title at Flushing Meadows in 2009.
Rafael Nadal also won, and is getting closer to defending his title, despite going down a set against Nikoloz Basilashvili, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4. He will face his French Open opponent, Dominic Thiem, except this time on hard courts instead of his comfortable clay.
Thiem defeated the U. S Open finalist Kevin Anderson in three hard-fought sets, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6(2). Anderson has had a terrific year, making it to the final at Wimbledon after defeating Roger Federer at the grass slam. A win over him is no small thing.
“It’s a dream coming true,” said Thiem afterwards, via Sport 24.
It was smooth sailing for Serena Williams, despite losing the middle set in her match against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, starting out with a very dominant bagel in the first set, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.
She will be challenged in her next match against one of the few top seeds left in the draw, Karolina Pliskova, who easily won her match over Ashleigh Barty, 6-4, 6-4.
The Czech player beat Williams in 2016, but the 23-time slam champion feels she’s prepared this go around.
“I have taken a lot from that match and I think we are in different positions now. It will be an interesting match,” Serena Williams said about their upcoming quarterfinal clash, according to Sportskeeda.
Sloane Stephens dispatched another top seed, No. 15 Elise Mertens, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, looking battle-ready to defend her U.S. Open title. With the way the American is playing, there’s no reason to think she won’t repeat the feat.
But first she’ll need to get through Latvia’s Anastasia Sevastova, seeded 19, who knocked out one of the few remaining Top 10 players in the draw, Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, in another shockwave on the women’s side.
Fourth round matches conclude on Monday, Labor Day, with Madison Keys, Maria Sharapova (in another night match! Can she keep her night match streak going?), Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic headlining some pretty exciting matches.
U.S. Open matches can be viewed on the ESPN channels.