Five things to watch, US Open Day 10: Andreescu, Monfils continue bids

Five things to watch, US Open Day 10: Andreescu, Monfils continue bids

Elsewhere, Diego Schwartzman looks to notch his first victory over Rafael Nadal, and the 'Team Nebraska' duo of Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow seek a semifinal spot in doubles.

The quarterfinals continue Wednesday at the US Open. These are five storylines to look out for on Day 10 in New York.


Bianca Andreescu is making a legitimate case to become the first player to win the WTA Newcomer of the Year award and the WTA Player of the Year award in the same season. The 19-year-old Canadian is now 42-4 on the year, and is a substantial favorite in her quarterfinal matchup with Belgian Elise Mertens. This is uncharted territory for Andreescu, playing in just her fourth career major. Mertens, on the other hand, has enjoyed some Grand Slam success, reaching the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open. But Andreescu is locked in, and the lack of experience likely won’t affect her play. “This has been the best year of my life so far,” she says, “I’ve never felt this confident before.” 

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On Monday, Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow dispatched the Bryan Brothers with relative ease to advance to the US Open quarterfinalsnot bad for a couple of kids from Nebraska. Sock and Withrow grew up competing against each other for most of their lives, but teamed up to win the USTA Boys 18’s National Championships at Kalamazoo, MI in 2011. The duo has already taken out two seeded teams, and are playing some world-class doubles. Nick Kyrgios even predicted that they will win the tournament. Odds are you haven’t seen Withrow play, but he is a fantastic doubles player with great feel around the net, while Sock is capable of being the best doubles player in the world. The Nebraskans will take on the British duo of Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski. Murray is attempting to leave New York with championship hardware for the fourth straight year. Murray won the doubles title in 2016, and lifted mixed doubles titles the past two years. 

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Either Belinda Bencic or Donna Vekic will advance to their first Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday. The Swiss owns a 2-1 head to head advantage over Vekic, but lost their most recent meeting at this year’s French Open. Bencic has racked up eight Top-10 wins this year, and after her convincing win over world no. 1 Naomi Osaka, she is a slight favorite according to the oddsmakers. Vekic erased a match point before battling past Julia Goerges in her fourth-round victory.

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First encounters are always interesting, but even more so in the quarterfinals of a major. Both Gael Monfils and Matteo Berrettini are physical specimens, and this matchup promises to entertain. Berrettini is in the midst of a breakout year: he has won two ATP titles and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon. Berrettini was brilliant in his straight set dismissal of red-hot Andrey Rublev on Monday. He combines humongous hitting with above average rally tolerance. This clash could go either way, but Monfils has should have the edge in the experience department, having made the US Open semifinals in 2016. 

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Diego Schwartzman is on fire. The diminutive Argentine has lost just one set en route to the quarterfinals and has dominated his competition. But now he will need do something he’s never done before, beat Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard owns a 7-0 record against Schwartzman for a reason. Nadal uses his unparalleled spin to bounce the ball high out of the Argentine’s strike zone. Although it’s a brutal matchup for Schwartzman, he has played Nadal admirably, taking a set in their last two Grand Slam encounters. The slightly quicker US Open court will help the Argentine, but in the end, he should have no answer to Nadal, who is the current favorite to walk away with the title. 

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