Coming into Monday, Alexander Zverev had taken a positive step forward by reaching the second week at the US Open for the first time. He was presented with a prime opportunity to extend his run against No. 20 seed Diego Schwartzman.
Instead, Zverev became the fifth Top-8 seed to exit before the quarterfinals, after he was unable to neutralize his recent funk on second serve. Schwartzman advanced to the last eight for the second time in three years, defeating Zverev, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
In his final New York tune-up, Zverev tossed in 20 double faults to lose his Cincinnati opener to Miomir Kecmanovic. The German hit 26 double faults in his first three matches at Flushing Meadows, but countered the donated points by firing 47 aces in his last two wins to offset the lingering problem. But against Schwartzman, the reigning ATP Finals champion managed 11 aces while coughing up 17 double faults, providing plenty of opportunities for his opponent to capitalize on return.
Schwartzman, who won his first hard-court title in Los Cabos just over a month ago, converted eight of 18 opportunities to take the round of 16 encounter in three hours and seven minutes. The 27-year-old improved to 2-1 against Zverev and will look to reach his first major semifinal against three-time champion Rafael Nadal, or 2014 winner Marin Cilic.
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