Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a big point at the 2023 US Open.

2023 US Open Preview: Alcaraz and Keys Look For Semifinal Berths

After a historic and memorable evening in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday evening, the final batch of 2023 US Open quarterfinal contestants head into Wednesday to try to outdo their peers. Universal Tennis previews the action with an assist from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.

(23) Qinwen Zheng (12.45 UTR Rating) vs. (2) Aryna Sabalenka (12.87)

By how many rankings points will 2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka lead her peers as the new WTA No. 1? That will all be decided in the next few days as Sabalenka looks to win her second major championship of the season.

She received dozens of messages after becoming the No. 1 in-waiting when Poland’s Iga Swiatek (13.18) lost in the fourth round of the 2023 US Open.

“The funniest one was from [Novak] Djokovic} because he also became world No. 1, will become world No. 1, after US Open. Someone mentioned us with this funny sunglasses from the US Open. He just send me like, ‘Smile if you will become world No. 1 soon,’” she said.

Zheng is playing in her first major championship quarterfinal in only her second US Open main draw. But INSIGHTS predicts her impressive run ends on Wednesday. Sabalenka, who is 6-0 in major quarterfinals, is a 73% favorite to reach her third consecutive US Open semifinal.

(3) Daniil Medvedev (16.21) vs. (8) Andrey Rublev (16.08)

The two lifelong friends (Rublev is the godfather to Medvedev’s daughter) will meet for the eighth time on tour and second in New York. Medvedev won their 2020 US Open tilt, and has won five of their seven overall tour-level meetings, all of which have taken place on hard courts.

Medvedev has been here before — in the middle part of a second week of a major championship–and rolled. The 2021 US Open champion is 6-1 in Grand Slam semifinals, including 3-0 at this stage in New York.

Rublev, on the other hand, is 0-8 in major quarterfinals, including 0-3 in US Open quarterfinals. “I feel I'm playing well, and that's the most important thing. That's why I don't want to pay attention to the game and to put extra pressure on me,” Rublev said.

INSIGHTS gives Medvedev the edge, 57% to 43%.

(9) Marketa Vondrousova (12.84) vs. (17) Madison Keys (12.71)

Vondrousova snagged her major championship title at Wimbledon in July, but this will be her first US Open quarterfinal and the first time she’s faced the big-hitting and home favorite Keys. 

Vondrousova fought through three sets in her fourth-round match against 2022 NCAA champion Peyton Stearns. Stearns received the Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Award in March, when her ranking was No. 126.

Now she’s set to crack the Top 50 and has credited the grant in helping her quick ascent. “It’s helped a lot to form a team around me, a coach full-time and a trainer with me at the bigger tournaments,” she said.

But on Wednesday, Vondrousova will have her eyes affixed on the challenge Keys presents. The 2017 US Open finalist has won 77% of her first-serve points, tied with Sabalenka for tops among the remaining women’s singles players, and is 2-0 in US Open quarterfinals.

INSIGHTS favors Vondrousova, 56% to 44%.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz (16.32) vs. (12) Alexander Zverev (16.12)

Zverev called his marathon win against Jannik Sinner in the fourth round “one of the best moments” of his career. The four hour, 41 minute win is the longest match of the fortnight and propelled Zverev into his third US Open quarterfinal and first since 2021.

“I guess I can say I’m back, right?” said Zverev, who missed last year’s US Open because of an ankle injury. “This is what I live for. This is what I absolutely love to do.”

Alcaraz also loves playing in Ashe and has won 11 consecutive matches at the US Open, where he won his first major championship title. Alcaraz, however, has a losing record against Zverev, 2-3. But they haven’t played on hard courts since nearly two years ago.  

INSIGHTS predicts Alcaraz will roll into the semifinal with a 62% odds.

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

INSIGHTS and UTR Ratings as of 11 a.m. EST, September 6, 2023. 

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