US Open PIX: Berrettini, Ruud snatch quarter-final berths

A summary of Sunday’s action at the US Open.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini reached his second consecutive US Open quarter-final by winning a marathon battle with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 on Sunday after the Spaniard suffered an injury in the final set.

The 13th seed had lost to Davidovich Fokina on clay in Monte Carlo last year but found the right formula on New York’s hard courts, sending down 17 aces, firing 48 winners to 27 from his opponent and saving nine of 13 break points.

After a lacklustre first set in which Berrettini produced only six winners and failed to earn a break point, Italy’s Australian Open semi-finalist came to life in the second set tiebreak and immediately broke his opponent in the third set.

Down a break in the final set, Davidovich Fokina suffered an injury in the sixth game when his leg slipped out from under him and he banged his fists on the court in pain.

He saw a physio and for a moment it seemed he might be done for the day but the Spaniard bravely returned to the court to finish the match to roars of encouragement from the crowd.

“I’m really proud because I didn’t start the match the way I wanted to,” said Berrettini, who has been sidelined a number of times this season due to injuries or illness.

“Obviously this is not the way I wanted to finish the match but I’m going to take the win.”

Ruud ends lucky loser Moutet’s fairytale run

He next faces Norwegian fifth seed Casper Ruud, who ended lucky loser Corentin Moutet’s fairytale run 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2 to kick off the action at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Frenchman Moutet made history on Friday when he became the first lucky loser to reach the US Open fourth round and put up a valiant defensive effort to save 10 of 17 break points.

But Ruud, the runner-up at Roland Garros this year, had the edge as he won nearly three-quarters of his first-serve points and hit 43 winners.

Ruud leads Berrettini 3-2 head-to-head, most recently beating him in the Gstaad final, but is not taking his opponent lightly.

“He’s dangerous obviously on all surfaces,” the Norwegian told reporters. “He will throw big serves, big forehands. He has big weapons… It’s going to be a tough challenge, for sure.”

Gauff in quarters with win over Zhang

American teenager Coco Gauff used her superior speed to overcome a second set deficit and pull off a thrilling 7-5, 7-5 win over China’s Zhang Shuai to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open for the first time.

In a battle between the youngest player left in the draw, the 18-year-old Gauff, and the oldest, the 33-year-old Zhang, it was the Chinese player who looked sharper at the outset, breaking for a 2-0 lead in the first set.

But 12th seed Gauff battled back and fired a two-handed backhand winner to claim the first set and electrify the supportive crowd.

Zhang, a human backboard content to extend rallies from the baseline, grabbed a 5-3 lead when she broke Gauff with a backhand winner of her own in the second set.

But Gauff remained poised, breaking back to take a 6-5 lead and winning the point of the match with her astonishing speed when she slid from corner to corner to elicit the error from Zhang.

The crowd roared in approval and Zhang covered her ears to block out the sound, which was amplified by the closed roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium due to rain.

Gauff sealed the nearly two-hour affair on an error by Zhang and the two exchanged a warm hug at the net.

Next up for Gauff is Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who beat American Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4, 6-1 earlier on Sunday.

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