To see Evo go out like that was very, very painful, he could have as easily won this in four sets as he did lose it in four and in all truth should have. A quick start was required in the third on the restart and after holding he found himself a double mini break up in the tiebreak but he just couldn’t quite sustain it. I was tearing my hair out as will pretty much every Evo fan have been. He is never one to shy away from honesty and he was quoted as saying “I was up in the match on numerous occasions. There’s nothing to blame apart from myself. You’ve got to win those matches, if you want to be a good tennis player, if you want to go up the rankings, you can’t lose that match. The positions I was in, I didn’t do anything really well”. Moutet just wouldn’t go away though, even when Evans took a 4/1 lead in the fourth he fought back again and was every bit as tricky as he was the previous day. It all got on top of our man in the end. I am disappointed for many reasons but most of all I thought he would have liked his chances against Felix in the next round.
I thought I would relax in the evening and watch another of my bets Stefanos Tsitsipas as he played Borna Coric. I was expecting a tough match but was fully expecting the Greek to get this done in four sets. What I witnessed was unreal and I still can’t believe it. Having been tied at one set all and looking up against it, Stefanos upped the ante and started cracking winners at will. It took him to 5/1 in the fourth and one game away from victory. There were two attempts at serving it out and a total of six match points came and went, including three at 5/4, 40-0. Stefanos even reset in the decider to break, only to get broke from 40/15 straight away again. I kept watching but sometimes you just have that sinking feeling and I have all event so far. Being a loser in a final set breaker (that was over four and a half hours) only compounds the loss. There was a lot of arguing with Stefanos and his Dad again tonight. I do wonder whether the journey is coming to an end there. His Tweet very soon after defeat summed it all up well, “This is probably the saddest and funniest at the same time thing that has ever happened in my career!” That is nearly nine hours on court in the last two rounds for Coric. It will be interesting to see how quickly he comes out of the traps against Jordan Thompson.
Cameron Norrie also lost, he went to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Nozza said after that he was dehydrated and had blurry vision during the third set. He wasn’t particularly harsh on himself and there is no reason to be with his best showing at a slam so far. It is a bit of a chance missed though but things are certainly heading in the right direction for Norrie. There was the standard straight sets wins for Novak Djokovic over Jan-Lennard Struff, he will play Pablo Carreno Busta in the last 16. Denis Shapovalov won a cracker against Taylor Fritz in five and David Goffin surprisingly beat Filip Krajinovic in three, the Serb had been in great knick. Sascha Zverev v Adrian Mannarino was delayed by three hours as the New York State were refusing to let Mannarino play due to being in contact with Benoit Paire. When they eventually went on court Zverev won in four with the Frenchman having an adductor problem.
Naomi Osaka was taken the distance for the second times in the women’s this year. There were some key moments at the start of the decider against Marta Kostyuk, who led 2-1 and had breakpoints. Osaka didn’t drop another game from here though and that is what champions do well, Anett Kontaveit is next, the Estonian really creeping through here. Petra Kvitova is also finding the fast surface to her liking. This was a good win over Jessica Pegula who had been in decent form in ‘Cincy’ and could have been a potential banana skin but Petra bought her A-Game to the party. She says she is feeling good and injury-free.
Caroline Garcia came unstuck after her fine win over Karolina Pliskova. She met an inform Jennifer Brady who beat her in pretty much every department in their powerful encounter. Brady is a player I have been following but the cat was out of the bag here after her win in Lexington and from what I remember she was only 5/1 pre-tournament for the quarter. She still has a lot of good players to beat, with Angie Kerber next in the fourth round. She apparently injured her ankle late on during her comfortable win over Ann Li.
There were also wins for Petra Martic, Yulia Putinsteva and Shelby Rogers. Rogers taking out her good pal Madison Brengle. Elise Mertens struggled over the line against Sara Sorribes Tormo, finished from the night before, but one of my favourites, Sachia Vickery lost out in three to Iga Swiatek. It sounds like a knee injury hampered the Americans chances.
It is a big one tonight, second on the Ashe for Serena. Fairly nervous and worried at the moment. Let’s see what happens.
Andy Del Potro