Monday night spelled the end of the road for Rafa Nadal at the US Open, as the favourite to take the men’s singles title was dumped out in the fourth round after a fierce battle with world number 26 Frances Tiafoe.
Matteo Berrettini v Casper Ruud
Nick Kyrgios v Karen Khachanov
The last remaining American in the men’s draw, Tiafoe fought back from a break down in the fourth set to earn a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory and set up a quarter-final with ninth seed Andrey Rublev (Match betting – Rublev 10/11, Tiafoe 10/11).
Nadal, had been the leading candidate to replace Daniil Medvedev as world number one next week following the Russian’s loss to Nick Kyrgios (7/4 – tournament outright) at the same stage on Sunday evening.
But the 22-time Grand Slam champion will now fall behind his young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the rankings, should the teenager reach the last four – the 19-year-old world number four came through a gruelling five-setter with 2014 champion Marin Cilic, advancing 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6.
Next to face Alcaraz, in a battle of ‘next gen’ talents, is Italy’s 13th-ranked Jannik Sinner, who came through a similarly bruising five-set encounter with Ilya Ivashka, winning 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, hopes of seeing another British singles champion were extinguished in quickfire fashion by Rublev’s dominant 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Cameron Norrie, the latter struggling for rhythm in an uncharacteristically error-strewn showing.
In the women’s draw, top seed Iga Swiatek survived a scare to beat Jule Niemeier, ranked 108th, over three sets to set up a meeting with eighth seed Jessica Pegula, who overcame Petra Kvitova.
Also facing off in the last eight are Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka, who recorded three-set wins over Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins respectively.
Tuesday’s order of play sees the quarter-final clashes begin with 2021 Wimbledon finalist and 13th seed Matteo Berrettini going up against the world number seven, Casper Ruud, who is also in with a shot at usurping Nadal atop the rankings.
The night session opens with home favourite Coco Gauff taking on the in-form Caroline Garcia, before the charismatic Kyrgios faces off with Karen Khachanov (Match betting – Kyrgios 1/5, Khachanov 10/3).