US Open | Zverev falls yet again
The Next Gen players featured again and while one showed he potential despite losing, the other wh was expected to be in the running for the title, disappointed.
Alexander Zverev, the word No 4. In fact provided the biggest upset of the men’s event by crashing out to his German countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(1) 6-4 6-1 6-3.
There's a lot of focus on Grand Slams. I've done well in Paris but not the other Grand Slams this year. Australia, I played against (Hyeon) Chung, he played very well. Wimbledon I was still recovering from injury. Here, I just couldn't find my best game today Alexander Zverev
But it was the 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur who really caught the eye as he battled with the seventh seeded Marin Cilic for four hours on the Louis Armstrong show court and just lose out 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5
De Minaur, ranked 45 in world terms, pushed the Croatan former US Open champion right to the end, saving seven match points as he rallied from 5-2 down in the fifth set before finally succumbing at 2.22am local time, Sunday morning!
“Incredible fighting spirit,” Cilic said of the young Aussie after completing the second-latest finish in US Open history by finally converting his eighth match-point with a forehand winner!
“This is a moment to remember,” added Cilic, who booked a fourth-round meeting with Belgian David Goffin, who in turn dispatched Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-1 7-6(4).
Meanwhile Zverev, the 21-year-old who has been expected taking over from the current incumbents at the top of the game, was unable to lift his game to dismiss the experienced 24-year-old Kohlschreiber who goes on to play Kei Nishikori for a quarter-final place, the Japanese having beaten Diegi Schwarzman 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-1.
It was another Grand Slam disappointment for Zverev, who until the French Open were he reached quarter-finals, has been unable to progress past the third round of a grand slam, which ironically is now his best results at the US Open!
Having made his name on the Tour itself and risen to vie for the top rankings with the likes of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, he remains the leader of the Next Gen pack. Un fortunately he can’t seem to make much of an impression at the events that really matter, the Grand Slams though his recent tie-up with Ivan Lendl, now famous for turning Andy Murray’s run of final losses at that level, will prove a turning factor.
“In tour events I lose as well. There’s just more tour events so you probably recognise it less,” he said after the match. “There’s a lot of focus on Grand Slams. I’ve done well in Paris but not the other Grand Slams this year. Australia, I played against (Hyeon) Chung, he played very well. Wimbledon I was still recovering from injury. Here, I just couldn’t find my best game today.”
But while his usual game deserted him on this occasion, he did hit 39 winners only for them to be duly cancelled by the exorbitant number of unforced errors he made, 53. In contrast Kohlschreiber, ranked 34, hit 42 winners to 41 unforced errors.
There were also great expectation of the clash between the five-time champion Roger Federer and the extrovert Nick Kyrgios, another player whose talent should be taking him to the top of the game.
Not surprisingly, bearing in mind their respective track record, it was Federer who emerged to reach the last 16 with a relatively comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 victory.
The second-seeded Swiss withstood an early onslaught from the unpredictable Aussie, firing 51 winners that included an unlikely forehand flicked around the net post that Kyrgios couldn’t believe. It was the shot of the match if not the tournament. Kyrgios, who loves to play extravagant and unorthodox shots, was eft open-mouthed as the ball hit for well outside the tram line curled round the net post barely rising above a foot off the ground to land well inside the court for a winner.
“Definitely a bit of luck and good feet,” Federer said of that shot.
Federer will take on Australian John Millman, who reached the fourth round of a major for the first time with a 6-4 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory over Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin with Novak Djokovic most likely awaiting him in the quarter-finals.
The Serb himself cleared his third round opponent Richard Gasquet by securing a comfortable 6-2 6-3 6-3 result.
“It was the best match of the week so far without a doubt, and one of the best performances of the hardcourt season after Wimbledon,” said Djokovic, who warmed up for Flushing Meadows by beating Federer in the Cincinnati Masters final.
Djokovic saved all five break points he faced to book a meeting with Joao Sousa of Portugal, a 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5) winner over France’s Lucas Pouille.