After three days off, Rafael Nadal returned to Ashe and looked like he never missed a beat pounding Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
“From here, the main thing, I am happy to be where I am,” Nadal said. “I’m in the fourth round, and that’s the main thing.
“I didn’t face a breakpoint. That’s a positive thing. And the best thing is without playing great, playing a normal match, I was able to have a very comfortable score. So that means a lot of things, and positive ones.”
Nadal has now won his last 6 matches including his Canadian Open title run.
He’ll now face former champion Marin Cilic. The 2014 winner hit 17 double faults but somehow still beat John Isner in four sets 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4. Cilic has now beating the American nine of 12 times. Isner smacked 40 aces but finished just 1/14 on break chances.
“Call it either lucky, to be a little bit lucky in that third-set tiebreak or just John missing a couple of his first serves when he needed them,” assessed Cilic. “Just getting the return back on the 6-4 score. Just being in the rally, giving myself a shot to win the points. Just grinding it.
“You can’t do much when he’s serving like that. You have to just be positive and, you know, wait for your chance when it comes. Luckily it came at critical moment. I took it. That definitely influenced the match really a lot.”
After Isner’s loss, Tennys Sandgren was America’s last men’s hope, but that was squashed quickly as Diego Schwartzman coasted to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 win.
Schwartzman now meets No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev who reached his first US Open fourth round besting Aljaz Bedene 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 7-6.
“I think very high-level match,” said Zverev. “He played very aggressive, very well, very fast as well. Sometimes I didn’t really have chances on his serve. Playing three tiebreak sets, it could have gone both ways. I’m just happy to be through.
“Obviously it’s a fourth round. I don’t really want to stop here. I want to keep going. I want to keep improving my game.”
Pablo Andujar made a surprise appearance in a Slam fourth round first time. The 33-year-old out Alexander Bublik in straight sets. Gael Monfils, who held on to beat Denis Shapovalov, in 5 sets 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3.
Nick Kyrgios also crashed out going down to Andrey Rublev 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 6-3.
Matteo Berrettini reached his first US Open fourth round by defeating young Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6.
Sunday sees the return of favorites Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer is back on during the day against good friend David Goffin.
In the evening, Novak Djokovic will resume his rivalry with Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss beat Djokovic in the 2016 US Open final and also the French final.
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