US Open Day 4 Recap: Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Marin Cilic Advance

Rafael Nadal 2022 US Open

Day 4 at the US Open was pretty eventful on the men’s side, albeit with only one significant upset: Hubert Hurkacz’s elimination. Aside from the Pole, all the top seeds made it through to the next round, namely the likes of Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, who remain on collision course for a potential semifinal meeting.

US Open Day 4 Recap

Who looked good

Andrey Rublev barely escaped elimination in the first round, but he was dominant in his second match, dropping only seven games against Kwon. Truth be told, Rublev is famous for being consistent against inferior opposition and it’s against players of similar or higher level that he has been unable to break through at Slams. A third round matchup against Shapovalov will be a much bigger test.

Brandon Nakashima has been on a clear upward trend and has continued his solid season at Grand Slam level with a straight set victory over Dimitrov, without getting a broken a single time against the 2019 semifinalist. His third round match against Jannik Sinner should be very exciting.

Richard Gasquet has reached a second consecutive Round 3 at a Slam, with an excellent win over Miomir Kecmanovic, showing there’s still life in him and retirement isn’t necessarily near. Gasquet played at a very solid level and hit a lot of great winner; the bad news for him is that he has Rafael Nadal next, who he’s never beaten and has only taken 4 sets against. Further progression is extremely unlikely.

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Who looked bad

After just barely escaping first round elimination, Cincinnati champion Borna Coric lost in straight sets to Jenson Brooksby, showing nowhere near the level he had displayed in Ohio. Brooksby is a tough opponent, who doesn’t give any free points and makes it very hard on his opponent to close points, but Coric will still be highly disappointed.

Denis Shapovalov did win his match against Roberto Carballes Baena but that was one of the weakest opponents he could possibly face at this stage on a hard court. Shapovalov was still extremely erratic and even dropped a set; if he doesn’t pick up his game, his stay in New York won’t last much longer.

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Hubert Hurkacz had looked good in the first round, but he got bounced early of yet another Slam, this time against Ilya Ivashka. The latter played pretty well, but Hurkacz was mostly terrible on the important times; he actually won more points (132-131) despite losing in 4 sets. The world #10 just continues to deceive at Slam level.

Match of the day

Today, there were no five-setters but there were still plenty of interesting matches. Frances Tiafoe and Jason Kubler played an excellent three-set battle that lasted over three hours and was very tight throughout. Although Tiafoe won all three sets, they could all have easily gone the other way, with the American’s superior experience at this level being the main difference. The match was also filled with attacking tennis and exciting points.

Main photo from Getty.