If the seventh day of action did not bring any surprises, it did bring its share of great matches and fantastic moments, among which those ripping forehands from Roberto Bautista Agut, who became the first to take a set off Novak Djokovic in this U.S. Open, and did not lose without a tremendous fight. Playing his wonderful, vintage style, Feliciano López defeated Fabio Fognini (who was perhaps “hurting all over” after his near four-hour epic win against Rafael Nadal, but still gave quite the show) and will face Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Marin Cilic also advanced. The defending champion defeated Jérémy Chardy in four sets and will face another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, for a semifinal spot.
On the women’s side, Eugenie Bouchard was forced to retire from the singles (she had already pulled out from the doubles and mixed doubles on Saturday) due to a concussion, and Kristina Mladenovic became the first Frenchwoman since Marion Bartoli (Wimbledon 2012) to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam after upsetting 13th seed Ekaterina Makarova in a gripping late-night three-setter.
The round-of-16 ends today in Flushing Meadows, with a Switzerland vs U.S.A. derby, as both Swiss players will face one of the two remaining local men, among other matches. There should be a Davis Cup ambiance in the stands!
- Finally making his Arthur Ashe Stadium début, around 13:00, Stan Wawrinka will take on the surprising Donald Young who not once, but twice this tournament came back from 0-2 to win, including in the third round. Wawrinka has won all of his matches without dropping a set, but has only done what was necessary to win and was not at his most convincing. We can be sure that the French Open champion will bring his best game in this match, with a crowd which will mostly be firmly against him.
- At approximately 14:00, third seed Andy Murray will take on Kevin Anderson on Louis Armstrong, a court which is known to have given the Scot many problems in the past. Is another harsh Armstrong battle on the menu for the 2012 champion?
- Following the Wawrinka vs Young meeting, at approximately 15:00, there will be an interesting clash between two WTA veterans: Sam Stosur and Flavia Pennetta. The Aussie, champion of the tournament in 2011, is having her best U.S. Open since her quarter-final run the year after her championship, whereas the Italian has reached the quarter-finals or better in her last three appearances. An encounter that promises!
- The tournament kept the best for last, today, as Roger Federer will face John Isner around 20:30 on Ashe. It will be the sixth meeting between the two, but their first since 2012, and the first time they square off in a best-of-five encounter since Isner surprised Federer on clay during a Davis Cup rubber in Switzerland (Isner’s only win against Federer). Their only Grand Slam meeting dates back to the U.S. Open 2007, a four-set win by the Swiss. Will he try his new SABR return against the big-serving man from the U.S.?