The Quarterfinals will be set at the 2019 US Open on Monday. Veterans Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal square off, while Gael Monfils looks to continue his run, and next gen talents Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev look to improve their results in New York. Damian Kust and Harsh Bhoot offer their predictions.
Alexander Zverev vs Diego Schwartzman
Damian: Five sets lost in the first three matches, yet the German keeps pulling it off. Schwartzman is through to the third round with straight sets victories over Haase, Gerasimov and Sandgren. The Argentinian is an excellent counterpuncher and it will be another stern test for the sixth seed. Zverev has little to no confidence in his abilities right now and finds himself avoiding going for his big shots. It should be another exhausting battle but the German is very well prepared physically and might just pull it off in the very end. Zverev in 5
Harsh: Alexander Zverev finally got it over in less than five sets but it still wasn’t confidence instilling. Up 5-2 in the first set, he let Aljaz Bedene take the set in a tiebreak and it’s lapses like this which prove to be fatal to Zverev’s chances. Diego Schwartzman will be fancying his chances as his baseline game can go toe to toe with the German. The Argentine is yet to drop a set and on the backdrop of a Grand Slam, expect Schwartzman to have his day. Schwartzman in 5
Marin Cilic vs Rafael Nadal
Damian: The Croat will be extremely happy with this run. He’s been having a dreadful year for his standards, sitting outside the top 50 in the ATP Race to London prior to this fortnight. The 2014 champion loves the conditions at the US Open and is the toughest competitor Nadal has faced so far. With a big serve and mighty groundstrokes, Cilic is capable of taking the racket out of Nadal’s hands. Nonetheless, the problem is to maintain that level over a best-of-five sets match. The Spaniard is unbelievably consistent and he will take advantage of every dip in level, Marin Cilic is very likely to have. Nadal in 4
Harsh: The Spaniard Rafael Nadal had a pretty comfortable outing in his fourth round but Marin Cilic will prove to be a much sterner test. The Croat has been playing well but trails Nadal 2-6 in their previous encounters. Baseline rallies would be neck and neck with Cilic’s backhand more than capable of handling Rafa’s topspin. Nadal has looked in complete control so far and while Cilic has impressed, he hasn’t played a lot of big matches this year. The Croat can certainly grab a set but tough seeing him getting more. Nadal in 4
Andrey Rublev vs Matteo Berrettini
Damian: The Italian has been flying under the radar here in New York, with consecutive four-set wins over Richard Gasquet, Jordan Thompson and Alexey Popyrin. The same cannot be said about Rublev, who managed to pull off wins in blockbuster clashes versus Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios. Berrettini has a much bigger serve and although I would favour him on faster and slicker court, the conditions at Flushing Meadows are quite heavy. The Russian’s forehand has a longer wind-up but it’s an absolute powerhouse when it’s on and for the last three weeks, Rublev has been in the best form of his career thus far.
Rublev in 4
Harsh: Andrey Rublev proved me wrong against Nick Kyrgios winning comfortably in straight sets. The Russian looks like the man to beat in the third quarter and his aggressive game is working wonderfully well. Matteo Berrettini has taken out players in form such as Richard Gasquet in this year’s US Open but the Italian has already lost to Rublev earlier this year in Marseille. Both players are extremely aggressive but it definitely seems like Rublev can do nothing wrong at the moment. Rublev in 4
Gael Monfils vs Pablo Andujar
Damian: The Frenchman is through to the fourth round with a five-set win over Denis Shapovalov and he might be eyeing a big run here. A former semi-finalist and quarter-finalist at the event, Monfils has been enjoying himself throughout the week and if he can remain healthy, the sky is the limit. No offence to Pablo Andujar, who did very well to get his maiden Grand Slam fourth round at the age of 33 but on a hard court he should be no match to Monfils. Monfils in 3
Harsh: Gael Monfils heads into this match as the favourite and rightly so. The Frenchman put up an excellent showing against Denis Shapovalov which surely would have boosted his confidence multifold. Pablo Andujar too has had a great Open so far but he’s never beaten Monfils before in their three previous encounters. Both heavy baseliners, the match favours Monfils due to his superior defence and power on his groundstrokes. Barring any fitness issues, he should edge this one out. Monfils in 4