Denis Shapovalov leads the first Canadian trio to break into the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament. He will meet David Goffin, who beat in their lone previous meeting at 2019 Tokyo. The No.12 seed reached the fourth round for the fourth straight year but he has never moved beyond that stage before in New York.
He is trying to become the 10th active player on the ATP Tour to reach the quarter-finals or better in his career at each major, and the maiden Belgian in the last eight in the tournament’s history.
The Canadian makes his fourth straight main draw appearance after his comeback win over No.19 seed Taylor Fritz who served for the match in the fourth set. Shapovalov first broke through at the 2017 Coupe Rogers, as he reached the semifinals defeating Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal. Later that year, he won six straight matches coming through qualifying to move to the R16 here.
This fortnight, he has held serve in 56 of 63 games (87%), saving 17 of 24 break points. Shapovalov, the second youngest player in the world’s Top 50 behind countryman and close friend Felix Auger-Aliassime, has all the shots and when he’s on fire, he can become almost unbeatable. In his vintage outfit, he seems more eager to complete a key transition. He’s looking more efficient on serve, harder to beat when he’s not at his best.
Prediction: Shapovalov in four sets.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina v. Alexander Zverev  | First meeting
The No.5 seed lost to Diego Schwartzman at this stage in 2019. This year, he posted three four-sets wins, hitting 56 aces, holding serve in 58 of 62 games (94%). During the first three rounds, he saved 14 of 18 break points (78%) and converted 15 of 23 of those same chances (65%), the highest percentage among remaining players. On the other side, he also leads all singles players with 27 double-faults.
Davidovich Fokina, who defeated Brit Cameron Norrie, came into the 2020 US Open with 1-5 career record on hard courts. He’s one of two Spaniards remaining, alongside Pablo Carreno Busta, one of his closest friend on Tour.
During lockdown, he trained with Novak Djokovic in Marbella. Those sessions helped him to build a more patient version of his aggressive game. In these first weeks after the hiatus, the Spaniard is evidently trying not to be frantic and trying to tame his creative, crazy side that led him stun Djokovic with a tweener winner. He can mix underarm serves, as he specifically practices that weapon, venomous drop shots and flashy groundstrokes.
Inexperience at this stage could spur him or prevent him from mixing it all efficiently. In a routine baseline battle, Zverev looks as the natural favourite. If the match should turn into an emotional tussle, the Spaniard will have a chance to upset him.
Prediction: Zverev in four sets.
Jennifer Brady  v Angelique Kerber  | First meeting
Playing her milestone 50th Grand Slam main draw, Angelique Kerber is one of seven active players with more than a century of victories at Grand Slam level. US Open is her third-most successful major, with a 28-11 main draw record. Ranked No.23 this fortnight, her lowest ranking entering a Slam since 2012 Australian Open (No.30), she bids to reach the first quarter-final here since her 2016 title-run. Thanks to that triumph, she became the 22nd player to hold WTA World No.1 ranking, and second German woman to achieve that milestone since computer rankings were introduced in 1975.
She will play the No.28 seed Jennifer Brady for the first time, who celebrated winning her maiden WTA title in Lexington. Seeded for the first time in a major, the American reached the second week for the third time at Grand Slam level. She lost at that same stage at Australian Open and then in New York in 2017.
Over the opening three rounds, she conceded just 14 games, the fewest of any player remaining in the top half. She also dropped her serve just three times and struck 19 aces, the second-most behindSerena Williams.
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