Anything is Pospisil. After a long comeback from back surgery, Canadian Vasek Pospisil secured what is surely the greatest win of his career. Under the lights at the US Open, the 29-year-old upset world #9 Karen Khachanov in five sets 4-6 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-3. Pospisil had not won a singles match on tour all year, although due to his surgery, his 2019 season did not begin until Wimbledon. But what better venue than New York to prove that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
Vasek Pospisil Dazzles on the Court
For the last year, Pospisil has made more headlines off the court than on it. As a prominent member of the ATP Players Council, Pospisil has been calling for greater representation for the players, particularly those struggling to make a living.
“There is an illusion of a democracy but the reality is that we have very, very little power to influence any decisions in our livelihoods,” Pospisil said.
In the midst of being an advocate on the Players Council, Pospisil underwent surgical microdiscectomy to correct a herniated disk which forced him out of competition for three months. In his first match back at Wimbledon, Pospisil lost to his fellow countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets. It would happen again in Montreal just a few weeks later, in three tight sets.
While Pospisil was showing glimpses of the powerful groundstrokes that made him a Rogers Cup semifinalist in 2013 and took him to a career-high ranking of world #25 a year later, his match fitness clearly still needed improving. But on Tuesday night at the US Open, Pospisil’s performed tremendously well against Khachanov. He fired 15 aces, won 77 percent of his first serve points and converted four of his six break points.
Khachanov established himself as one of the future stars of the men’s game after winning the Paris Masters last season, although he has struggled for consistency this season. His powerful groundstrokes, which had Nadal scrambling last season in the third round, did not bother Pospisil, who matched that intensity and showcased his mental toughness to pull off the upset.
Pospisil will next take on the American Tennys Sandgren in the second round in what will surely be a partisan atmosphere in Flushing Meadows. But win or lose that match, given where the 29-year-old was a year ago, Pospisil’s upset win over a top-10 opponent will feel mighty sweet to thee Canadian.
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