Second-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev recorded 13 aces to roll past Englishman Dan Evans 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in New York.
Medvedev had 43 winners and 20 unforced errors while finishing off the 24th-seeded Evans in one hour and 43 minutes.
Medvedev next faces Netherlands qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp, who outlasted 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 in a marathon match of four hours and 19 minutes.
The victory makes van de Zandschulp just the third men’s qualifier to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals. The others are Nicolas Escude (1999) and Gilles Muller (2008).
While van de Zandschulp’s run is a huge surprise, Medvedev is doing the expected as he chases his first career grand slam title.
The 2019 U.S. Open runner-up has won three titles this year and Sunday’s victory was his 15th in his last 17 matches. He has yet to drop a set in New York.
“Today I liked my serve better,” Medvedev said on after winning 83.9 percent of his first-serve points. “But there was one forehand return that for me was the best shot of the match, so if we take one shot it has to be this one, but if we take the whole match it has to be the serve.”
Evans didn’t register a single ace. He had 24 winners and 17 unforced errors.
As for van de Zandschulp, he is ranked 117th in the world and has never won a singles title.
But the 25-year-old has come out of nowhere this week to make an impressive run that includes a second-round upset over eighth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway.
He recorded 15 aces among 55 winners in the victory over Schwartzman while overcoming 10 double faults and 72 unforced errors.
When van de Zandschulp let two match points slip away while losing the fourth set, he didn’t wallow in disappointment. He came out strong and dominated the final set with 11 winners to Schwartzman’s two.
“I played so many matches here, some of them I was on the brink of defeat, and for the first time in the tournament I have won the first set,” van de Zandschulp said in an on-court interview. “Even the first two and I almost ended up losing the match, but I am glad I won in the end.”
Schwartzman had 30 winners and 51 unforced errors.
Another quarterfinal will feature Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime against 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two, each of whom will be pursuing his first career semifinal in a Grand Slam tournament.
This will be the second straight Grand Slam quarterfinal for the Canadian, who made it to the round at Wimbledon but lost to eventual finalist Matteo Berrettini of Italy.
Auger-Aliassime, the No. 12 seed, took out Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-4, using 55 winners, which included 24 aces. He won 83 percent of his first-serve points.
Alcarez, who eliminated No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on Friday in five sets, needed to go the distance again to defeat qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
The teen becomes the youngest man to qualify for the quarterfinals in the Open Era.
“I’m super excited to be in my first second week in the Grand Slam, so it’s amazing for me. It’s a dream come true,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough to play these kind of matches, to play fifth sets. … I hope to play more second weeks, to play more quarterfinals of Grand Slams. I didn’t expect to play quarterfinals here. So I think it’s a really good performance from me in these matches.”
–Field Level Media