Frances Tiafoe of the United States pulled off a stunning upset to send Rafael Nadal crashing out of the US Open fourth round on Monday.
Tiafoe, the 22nd seed, produced a scintillating performance to beat 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 before a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The victory sends Tiafoe into a quarter-final meeting with Russian ninth seed Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
Rublev trumps Norrie
Andrey Rublev shrugged off a rain delay to breeze past Cameron Norrie and reach the US Open quarter-finals for the third time on Monday.
The ninth-seeded Russian triumphed 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and will face either four-time champion Rafael Nadal or Frances Tiafoe of the United States for a place in the semi-finals.
Rublev lost to Nadal in the quarter-finals in New York in 2017.
“It was two and a half hours, it was tough,” said 24-year-old Rublev who had needed four hours and five sets to get past Denis Shapovalov in the third round.
“Cameron and I, we have known each other for a long time. I knew I had to give my best.
“I played a good match. I was able to win in three sets so I am super happy,”
Rublev, who also made the last-eight in New York in 2017 and 2020, will be playing in his sixth quarter-final at the majors but has yet to progress further.
Monday’s fourth round clash was delayed by half an hour after the roof on Louis Armstrong Court was closed too late to prevent a sudden downpour from soaking the surface.
The delay, however, barely threw Rublev off his stride as he sealed victory on the back of 11 aces and 30 winners.
Norrie, the seventh seed, was undone by 35 unforced errors.
Pegula brushes past Kvitova
Jessica Pegula became the second American woman into this year’s US Open quarter-finals after brushing aside two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets on Monday.
The 28-year-old eighth seed shrugged off a rain delay on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court to win 6-3, 6-2 and ease into a last eight meeting with either world number one Iga Swiatek or Germany’s Jule Niemeier.
Pegula, whose parents are the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise, was always in control against out-of-sorts Czech veteran Kvitova, who had taken down Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the third round.
Pegula scored a break to go 4-3 up in the first set following the rain delay and then held for a 5-3 lead before breaking again for 6-3.
Kvitova appeared to raise her game in the second set and broke immediately before holding for a 2-0 lead.
But Kvitova’s game disintegrated thereafter - the Czech made 24 unforced errors in total - and Pegula reeled off six straight games to take the second set, clinching the match when Kvitova yanked a wild return wide.
Pegula has reached quarter-finals at the Australian Open and French Open this season but had never gone further than the third round in five previous appearances at the US Open.
She joins fellow American Coco Gauff in the last eight while compatriot Danielle Collins can join them when she faces Aryna Sabalenka later Monday.
Swiatek rallies through to make quarterfinal
World number one Iga Swiatek became the first Polish woman to reach the US Open quarter-finals on Monday when she defeated Jule Niemeier in an error-strewn last-16 clash.
French Open champion Swiatek recovered from a set and a break down to see off her 108th-ranked German opponent, 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Top seeded Swiatek will face US eighth seed Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals.
In a mistake-riddled clash on Louis Armstrong Court, there were a total of 15 double faults, 12 breaks of serve and 76 unforced errors.
“It’s really satisfying. This is my first quarter-final in New York so I am really proud of it,” said Swiatek.
Wimbledon quarter-finalist Niemeier hadn’t won a hardcourt match in her career before coming to New York.
However, went into Monday’s match not having dropped a set and fired up to repeat her Wimbledon journey where she had also beaten world number two Anett Kontaveit.
The 23-year-old from Dortmund swept through the opener with breaks in the first and seventh games.
She held her nerve in an eight-minute second game of the second set, saving two break points.
Niemeier sensed a shock victory when she broke for 2-1 but Swiatek eventually prevailed, taking a set which featured seven breaks of serve in 10 games.
In the decider, the Pole raced to a 4-0 lead with the powerfully-built Niemeier only winning five points.
Moments later Swiatek completed victory with her 19th ‘bagel’ set of the season to wrap up a place in a third Grand Slam quarter-final of 2022.
Swiatek said her success in 2022 has been helped by her rigid loyalty to her walk-on play list which includes AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam.
“I have been listening to it all year and I am pretty bored with it,” she said. “But I am not going to change now.”
Pliskova tops Azarenka to reach quarters
Karolina Pliskova downed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in three sets to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open on Monday.
The Czech 22nd seed, a runner up at the 2016 tournament and quarter-finalist on three other occasions, sealed a 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 win on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The 30-year-old will face either Danielle Collins of the United States or Belarusia’s sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Sabalenka into US Open quarter-finals for second time
Aryna Sabalenka reached the US Open quarter-finals for a second successive year on Monday with a three-set comeback win over Danielle Collins.
The world number six from Belarus triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 over her American opponent who she has now beaten in New York three times in the last five editions.
Sabalenka eventually fell at the semi-finals in 2021 and her 2022 bid looked in danger on Monday when she needed a medical time-out to treat a leg injury.
However, she eventually fought back from a set down against the Australian Open runner-up and sealed victory on the back of a double break in the decider.
With inputs from AP and AFP