Day 5 at the US Open was a day where the next generation of talent announced their arrival in a big way.
A couple of 18 year old’s stole the show, with the names Alcaraz and Fernandez likely to be ones you hear a lot in the coming years.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka won a tight first set in her match against Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 7-5, but her younger opponent was not to be denied, taking the second in a tie break and the third 6-4.
Osaka broke a couple of racquets in obvious frustration, and after what has been a tough year for the 4-time slam champion, she forecast a break from the game might be required.
“Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.”
In other women’s results, probably the match of the day was between a pair of grand slam champions in which Garbine Muguruza outlasted Victoria Azarenka in three sets.
Angelique Kerber dropped the first set but recovered to eliminate American Sloane Stephens who was looking very dangerous with her ball striking.
Simona Halep’s impressive come back from injury continued with a tough win over the 19thseed Elena Rybakina.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova defeated Rakhimova 6-4, 6-2 and Elina Svitolina progressed with the exact same scoreline against Daria Kasatkina.
Elise Mertens got past the gritty Ons Jabeur in straight sets, and Aryna Sabalenka looks in ominous form with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Danielle Collins.
Sabalenka struck 34 winners and won 11/11 points at the net throughout as she looks very hard to beat on this surface.
On the men’s side - it was another teenage sensation who produced the story of the day, as the number 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas fell in the third round.
18 year old Carlos Alcaraz has won at least one match at all four majors this year and was described by Tsitsipas post match as “striking the ball harder than anyone he has played”
The world number 55 is rising rapidly in world tennis and there was very little doubt who’s side the crowd was on as he recovered from a fourth set bagel to clinch the decider in a tie break.
In other results, Daniil Medvedev looked outstanding in his straight sets demolition of Andujar in which he dropped just 7 games throughout.
Popular American Francis Tiafoe produced an outstanding performance to defeat Andrey Rublev in 5 sets, to cap off the days play which finished at 2:15AM local time. Tiafoe led 4-2 in the fourth set before the Russian peeled off 4 games in a row to force a decider, but Tiafoe was not to be denied and controlled the fifth set and took it 6-1.
Diego Schwartzman also progressed in straight sets against qualifier Alex Molcan in a good follow up from his late night win over Kevin Anderson in the second round.
Alexei Popyrin became the third Australian in this tournament to lose a match after winning the first two sets. This time it was the Brit Daniel Evans who outlasted the young Aussie, who had a golden opportunity to roll past the third round for the first time at a slam. You can read the full match report for this match here.
Felix Auger-Aliassime won a colossal battle with the Spaniard Batista Agut 6-3 in the fifth as his star continues to rise in world tennis.
In other results, Peter Gojowczyk defeated Henri Laaksonen in four sets and Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp downed Facundo Bagnis, also in four.
Tomorrow - Ash Barty takes on one of the local hopes on the women’s side Shelby Rogers whilst Alja Tomljanovic will take on the other half of this year’s Wimbledon Final Karolina Pliskova.
The likes of Djokovic, Zverev, Berrettini, Swiatek, Kvitova and Andreescu also take the court on Day 6.
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips and Sam Groth as they discuss the US Open – 6.30pm-8pm AEST this Monday on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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