The US Open has reached the half-way stage now and the men’s quarter-final line-up will be completed today as the eight remaining players from the bottom half of the draw fight it out for a place in the quarter-finals. The biggest shock of the men’s draw occurred in the early hours of this morning as top-seed and defending champion Djokovic lost against former Grand Slam winner and twenty-third seed Wawrinka. Djokovic was two sets to love down when he chose to retire during the second set with a shoulder injury that had occurred early in the tournament.
Wawrinka will face fifth seed Medvedev (advised @ 14/1) for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow/Wednesday morning, this is Medvedev’s first Grand Slam quarter-final and hopefully he will repeat his 2017 win at Wimbledon which is the only time the two have met on the ATP Tour. Roger Federer looked vulnerable earlier in the tournament dropping sets to unseeded players, but he has found extra gears and motivation since then and has not dropped a set. He looked impressive again last night sweeping aside fifteenth seed Goffin in straight sets and he will face the unseeded and a resurgent Dimitrov tomorrow and/or Wednesday morning for the eighth time and the omens don’t look good for the Bulgarian as he’s lost all seven previous encounters.
The fourth-round matches from the bottom half of the draw are scheduled to play tonight and tomorrow morning. Three-time winner, second seed and now tournament favourite Nadal (advised @ 10/3) headlines the action against 2014 winner Cilic tomorrow morning. Nadal leads the head-to-head 6-2 and he will need to be at his best as Cilic two wins came on hard courts at Beijing and the Australian Open in five sets last year. Sixth seed Alexander Zverev continues to struggle to play his best tennis at Grand Slams taking five sets to win his first two matches against unseeded players and four sets including three tie breaks to win his last match against the unseeded Bedene. Zverev’s task doesn’t get any easier as he faces twentieth seed Schwartzman tonight and I would not be surprised at an upset in this one as Schwartzman has giant-killing form at the US Open.
The other two fourth-round matches tonight are between the unseeded Rublev and twenty-fourth seed Italian Berrettini, who are facing each other for the third time and the head-to-head stands at 1-1. The other match is between thirteenth seed Monfils and the surprise package of the tournament so far, unseeded veteran Spaniard Andujar. They’ve met three times previously and Monfils won all three, but these matches were back in 2011 and 2013 and should have little impact on this encounter as Andujar looks to be playing some of the hard-court best tennis of his career this fortnight.