The Spanish duo of Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz rolled into the US Open fourth round on Saturday.
Nadal upped his head-to-head record to 18-0 against Richard Gasquet, pounding the 36-year-old Frenchman 6-0, 6-1, 7-5. Rafa was rolling up 6-0, 6-1, 2-0 before Gasquet made a late push.
“My best match in the tournament,” Nadal said on court. “Easy to say that because the other day was tough. But, yeah, important improvement. But I need to keep going. It’s a good victory for me. Straight sets for the first time. Third set a challenge. He increased the level.
“I went through some difficult moments. That’s something that is good, that I went through that and safe moments with positive feelings. Happy to be in the fourth round, without a doubt.”
Nadal improves to 22-0 in Grand Slam play this year.
Alcaraz was on during the day in a much-anticipated clash with American backboard Jenson Brooksby. But Alcaraz’s power was too strong for Brooksby in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Alcaraz finished with 46 winners to Brooksby’s 10. Brooksby did have a 3-0 lead in the third before the teen ran off six straight games to reach his third straight Grand Slam fourth round, second in New York.
“I played really, really well,” said Alcaraz on Ashe. “High level, high intensity, I knew that it was going to be a tough match. Brooksby is a really tough opponent, but I’m really happy with my performance today and I’m going to keep going.”
Alcaraz will now face Marin Cilic who topped Dan Evans in four sets. Alcaraz beat Cilic last month in Cincinnati and also in Miami this year.
Frances Tiafoe booked a spot opposite Rafael Nadal. Tiafoe saved a number of set points in the first as Diego Schwartzman failed to serve it out three times in the break-fest. Tiafoe hung tough and took down the Argentine 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-4 in just over three hours. Tiafoe is into his third straight US Open final 16.
“I have unbelievable respect for Diego, he’s super, super tough. I feel like I’m about to cramp soon, he makes you work so much,” Tiafoe told his home crowd. “Huge thanks to the crowd for cheering me through that first set. That first set was everything today, if I hadn’t got that one it would have been a lot different. We’ve got another week, I hope you guys keep screaming for me. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Nadal has won both meetings with Tiafoe, but both were back in 2019.
“Second week against a great player like Frances, I need to be ready to play and to raise my level,” Nadal said. “I hope to be able to make that happen. I know it’s the right moment to make an improvement if I want to keep having chances to keep going on the tournament.”
Cameron Norrie kept playing good ball. The Wimbledon semifinalist ousted Holger Rune 7-5, 6-4, 6-1. Norrie will now meet Andrey Rublev who need 4 hours, 8 minutes and a final set breaker to edge Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6[10-7].
Rublev, who finished winning one less point than Shapovalov, failed to serve out the match at 5-4, 40-15 in the fifth, but finished the job in the tiebreaker.
“Obviously it was a crazy match. Obviously Denis deserved to win as well, as we all know,” Rublev said. “Both of us deserved to win. [After] you play these kinds of matches, there is no winner, in my opinion.”
In the late match, Jannik Sinner was taking on Brandon Nakashima.
Tomorrow, in a big showdown Nick Kyrgios takes a 3-1 head-to-head edge against tournament favorite and defending champion Daniil Medvedev.
Pablo Carreno Busta battles Karen Khachanov and Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud are on court.
SUNDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Day Session – 12:00 PM Start
Corentin Moutet (FRA) (LL) vs. Casper Ruud (NOR) 
Shuai Zhang (CHN) vs. Coco Gauff (USA) 
7:00 PM Start
Daniil Medvedev (RUS)  vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 
Ons Jabeur (TUN)  vs. Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 
Louis Armstrong Stadium, Day Session – 11:00 AM Start
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 
Caroline Garcia (FRA)  vs. Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA) 
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)  vs. Karen Khachanov (RUS) 
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
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Well done to Nick Kyrgios – #1 Medvedev played well. But Nick outplayed him. All his talent! The way he is playing, he is a threat to anyone.
For this match, hard to look at one thing. Both were firing aces, Kyrgios had a higher 1st serve win %. I think the break points mattered. Daniil got 3 of 8 break points to go his way, Kyrgios 5 of 7.
I wish Djokovic had been in the tournament, but it is great to see Nick fighting other players. The way he is playing, he really does have a shot at being around for the final day.
Props to Ajla Tomljanović as well. Nice looking, camera friendly player that had some hard luck with mono and shoulder injury taking almost half her career away. Now in her 2nd straight Slam QF along with a QF in Cincinnati. Beating Serena was big, but she can be remembered for more than that and hot boyfriends if she makes the Finals. Odds against, but 3 big QF results in her last 4 events shows she is playing top 20, and is a late bloomer.
September 4th, 2022 at 10:56 pm