Even though Carlos Alcaraz was not perfect in his victory in the third round of the United States Open, the defending champion did what was necessary on Saturday, in addition to frustrating Dan Evans to the point where he launched his racket a few times.
Less than 12 hours after Novak Djokovic, the opponent Alcaraz was predicted to face in next weekend’s final, erased a two-set deficit to win, the Spaniard reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for a third year in a row. He beat 26th-seeded Evans 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Alcaraz, world No. 1, demonstrated his versatility by hitting different spectacular shots.
“We play to make people happy, or at least entertain them. It’s good when the show is good,” said Alcaraz, who won his second Grand Slam title in July by beating Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old Spaniard is trying to become the first man to win a second title in a row in New York since Roger Federer’s five consecutive triumphs from 2004 to 2008.
“I would love to be part of the history of the tournament like Roger [Federer], said Alcaraz. It’s my aim. »
In the fourth round, Alcaraz will face Matteo Arnaldi, a 22-year-old Italian who is ranked 61st in the world. Arnaldi, who had won just one Grand Slam match before arriving in New York, reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
In other games early Saturday, Britain’s Jack Draper, 123rd in the world, also reached the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over American guest Michael Mmoh.
Later, No. 6 Jannik Sinner of Italy defeated Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, while No. 8 Russian Andrey Rublev beat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5.
Sinner now has a date with Germany’s No. 12 Alexander Zverev, who earned his fourth-round ticket by virtue of a 6-7(2), 7-6(8), 6-1 win, 6-1 against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, No. 19.
Among the women, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka continued her journey with a crushing 6-1, 6-1 victory against Frenchwoman Clara Burel. Sabalenka could steal the world number one spot from Iga Swiatek depending on their results in New York.
Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January, has lost just 12 games in three matches so far at the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre.
In the next round, Sabalenka will face No. 13 Daria Kasatkina, who defeated Belgian Greet Minnen 6-3, 6-4.
For her part, Jessica Pegula, No. 3, defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, setting the table for a duel against her American compatriot Madison Keys.
Pegula hopes to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in a Grand Slam. She will first have to beat the finalist in New York in 2017, who also needed three rounds to reach the round of 16.
Keys, No. 17, defeated Liudmila Samsonova, No. 14, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Pegula was consistently challenged by No. 26 Svitolina. However, she won the final four games of the match to finish as a semi-finalist at the 2019 U.S. Open.
At the end of the afternoon, Chinese Qinwen Zheng, No. 23, defeated Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Zheng will face Tunisian Ons Jabeur, No. 5, in the round of 16. The latter had the last word against Czech Marie Bouzkova 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3.