US Open Quarterfinals Stars Big Names and New as Berrettini Looks to End Djokovic's Bid for History

US Open Quarterfinals Stars Big Names and New as Berrettini Looks to End Djokovic's Bid for History

6 min read

The US Open quarterfinals have officially taken shape. New names have taken over the headlines with Leylah Fernandez, Carlos Alcaraz, Emma Raducanu, and Botic van de Zandschulp all making their quarterfinal debuts.

In the bottom half of the men’s draw on Tuesday, Alcaraz will take on No. 22 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and 25-year-old Van de Zandschulp faces No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev. Fernandez will play No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina while 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova plays No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Let's take a closer look at the quarterfinal matches scheduled for Wednesday with added intel from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.

(1) Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.23) vs. (6) Matteo Berrettini (UTR Rating 15.84)

Djokovic is three wins away from being the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win a calendar-year Grand Slam. The top seed bounced back from a lopsided first set to get past 20-year-old newcomer Jenson Brooksby, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

"A very young, very talented player,'' Djokovic said. "I told him at the net a bright future is ahead of him.''

Berrettini, a semifinalist in New York in 2019, eased past 28-year-old qualifier Oscar Otte in four sets. For the first time in his career Berrettini has made the second week at every Grand Slam in one season.

Otte suffered two falls during the encounter, a harmless yet very awkward tumble over the net in the first set and a more damaging backward spill at 1-2 in the fourth set that resulted in a wrist injury.



According to INSIGHTS, Djokovic has a 70% chance of defeating Berrettini to book his place in the semifinals. The World No. 1 is a perfect 3-0 in head-to-head meetings against the Italian, having most recently beaten him on his way to the Wimbledon title.

(11) Belinda Bencic (UTR Rating 12.84) vs. Emma Raducanu (UTR Rating 12.29)

Tokyo gold medalist Bencic scored an upset of No. 7 seed Iga Swiatek on Monday, in straight sets, 7-6(7), 6-3. INSIGHTS had given Bencic a decent 44% chance of beating the 2020 Roland Garros winner.

"I feel like I'm tested every match," the Swiss said. "Definitely today it was more challenging for me. I've improved my game a lot. I'm glad to turn it around and get through."

Raducanu has backed up her Wimbledon breakthrough and then some by reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier. The 18-year-old Brit shut out Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-1, and hasn’t lost a set in seven matches. The teen is the first female since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 to reach at least the fourth round of her first two majors.

"I was really grateful to have actually received quite a lot of support out there on Ashe, playing an American. I could hear a lot of chants, like people saying, 'C'mon, Emma' and my name," she said. "That meant a lot to me to have received that amount of support out on Ashe."

According to INSIGHTS, Bencic is favored at 76% to reach the semifinals over Raducanu. Bencic's UTR Rating and three-month Trending UTR Rating is higher than Raducanu's but the Brit's win-loss record is superior at 36-9 in the last 15 months.



(4) Alexander Zverev (UTR Rating 15.98) vs. Lloyd Harris (UTR Rating 15.29)

Another Olympic gold medalist, Zverev, also moved into the quarterfinals on Monday. He topped Italian teenager Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6) to book his seventh Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance. Last year, Zverev lost in the US Open final to Dominic Thiem in a fifth set tiebreak.

"Players with confidence who have played a lot of matches usually know what to do in these situations," Zverev said. "I think I played pretty good tennis in the second set and the first set as well. I feel like I played one bad game in the whole match and it made it very difficult in the third set, so I'm happy to be through in straights."

Harris ended American Reilly Opelka’s run with a strong performance after dropping the first set in a tiebreak. Harris, a 24-year-old South African, has had a stellar year complete with reaching his first ATP 500 (in Dubai) and a win over Rafael Nadal in Washington. This fortnight marks his best Grand Slam run. He credited his recent success to improving his physical fitness during lockdown.



Zverev is favored by INSIGHTS at 82% with an advantage in every category including best win (Djokovic), record versus common opponents, and UTR Rating. The two have faced off twice with Zverev winning both times, including just a few weeks ago in Cincinnati.

(4) Karolina Pliskova (UTR Rating 12.86) vs. Maria Sakkari (UTR Rating 13.00)

It took 3 hours and 30 minutes for Maria Sakkari to outlast Bianca Andreescu in the latest women's singles match in US Open history, 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3. It was after 2 a.m. when the Greek sealed her place in the quarterfinals. INSIGHTS had correctly predicted the upset by giving Sakkari 73% odds of beating the Canadian.

Andreescu was a perfect 10-0 in New York going into the match, having won the title in her debut in 2019. She had topped Sakkari in their only career meeting on her way to the Miami Open final in March. Andreescu was two points from victory in the second set tiebreak but Sakkari dug deep to turn the momentum back in her favor.

Pliskova, a US Open finalist in 2018 and Wimbledon finalist earlier this summer, eased past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova earlier on Monday. The Czech hasn't been to the quarterfinals in New York since her final run three years ago. She withstood the storm from the Russian, who hit 34 unforced errors during the 96-minute encounter.

"Somehow I just found a way to maybe play a bit better than she did," Pliskova said. "Just put pressure on her serve, which I managed to get a couple breaks."



Pliskova and Sakkari haven't played each other since 2019 when they split their two career meetings. According to INSIGHTS, Sakkari is favored to stage another upset at 56% odds of beating Pliskova. Sakkari has a higher UTR Rating, better recent win-loss record, and better record over common opponents.

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

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 6 p.m. EST, Sept. 6, 2021.

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