Williams and Kvitova, two beloved fan favorites, had just engaged in a brilliant, emotional, back-and-forth tussle that had the New York fans on the edges of their seats.
The men weren’t going to top that, but it didn’t matter much to them: Each was interested in as little drama as possible, as long as it meant a berth in the US Open semifinals.
As it turned out, the second night match wasn’t without its fair share of drama and theatrics, though. There were plenty of twists and turns and plot twists in Anderson’s 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7) win, which concluded at 1:52 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
In the opening set, the 31-year-old Anderson trailed 2-5 in the tiebreaker before reeling off the next five points to take it. The South African jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the second, but Querrey took the next three games for a 5-4 lead. It went to a tiebreaker again—and again, the 17th-seeded American struggled to close. Querrey failed to convert seven set points—Anderson won seven of eight points to come back, and let a set point of his own slip away—before finally securing it 11-9.
After a relatively clean third set, more drama ensued in the fourth. In their third tiebreaker, 28th-seeded Anderson had a match point with Querrey serving at 5-6. Querrey saved it and then took the next point, but failed to convert his set point.
On Anderson’s second match point, at 7-8 in the breaker, the underdog closed the door to reach his first career Grand Slam semifinal in 34 major appearances.
In the battle of big servers, Anderson finished with 22 aces to Querrey’s 20.
It was a disappointing outcome for Querrey—soon to be the highest-ranked American—who made it to the semifinals of Wimbledon in July, was coming off arguably the best performance of his career against Mischa Zverev and was playing in front of his home fans.
Anderson, meanwhile, has flown under the radar this entire tournament and will play for a spot in the US Open final.
His opponent on Friday will be 12th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta, who will also be making his Grand Slam semifinal debut. Carreno Busta defeated Argentinian Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday afternoon.