The quarterfinals begin Tuesday at the US Open. These are five storylines to look out for on Day 9 in New York.
Once upon a time Grigor Dimitrov was considered the heir apparent to Roger Federer’s throne. The unwanted “Baby Fed” moniker has since faded away, but the similarities in their strokes remain. With a win, the No. 78 ranked Dimitrov could turn the page on a forgettable 2019 campaign. The Bulgarian has struggled with injuries and confidence, and is just 15-15 on the year.
Federer, on the other hand, continues to dominate. The 38-year-old is 43-6 in 2019, and after losing the opening set of his first two matches, has lost just nine total games in his last two. To make matters worse, Dimitrov is 0-7 in his career against Federer. Dimitrov has the skill to beat anyone on any given day, but will need to play his best match since the 2017 ATP Finals to have any chance of overturning his lack of success against the Swiss.
There is a new troll in Central Park and his name is Daniil Medvedev. The Russian’s shocking heel turn has been the most entertaining story of the tournament. He has embraced the role of the villain, and is feeding off the electric US Open crowds. Things might get ugly on Tuesday, as Wawrinka is a fan-favorite and should have overwhelming crowd support. This matchup promises to be drama filled, as both competitors are struggling physically. Medvedev’s body is finally breaking down after his grueling summer. Meanwhile, Wawrinka was reported feeling sick after his match against Djokovic, and cancelled his Monday-morning press conference with the Swiss media.
When asked if she feels like this is her tournament to win, Serena responded confidently, “Yea, I feel like I’m here to do that.” With the loss of the top four seeds, including Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty, it's hard to argue against Serena being the perennial favorite. She is the only remaining player in the women’s draw who has reached a Grand Slam final, a feat she has accomplished a staggering 32 times. Her opponent, Wang Qiang, has yet to drop a set this tournament and was brilliant in her destruction of Barty on Sunday. Still, Serena’s road to her 24th major title has never looked better.
Defending US Open doubles champion Barty and her 2019 partner Victoria Azarenka will face off against the world’s no. 1 doubles team Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. The superstar duo of Barty and Azarenka taught the beloved “Team McCoco” a lesson on Monday, defeating the teenagers 6-1, 6-0 in just 50 minutes. Azarenka’s raw power combined with Barty’s unmatched net play and feel presents a terrifying combination for the competition. Babos and Mladenovic lost last year’s US Open final to Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe, so they should be out for revenge against the talented Australian.
After a dream Roland Garros run, the German duo of Kevin Krawietz and Andrea Mies are trying to get back to their winning ways. The French Open champions came into Flushing Meadows just 2-8 since winning in Paris, a puzzling stretch for two players who should be glowing with confidence. But Mies and Krawietz are relatively new to full-time ATP level competition. They spent most of 2018 playing on the ATP Challenger circuit. "There are so many teams that stay in Challengers for many years and just can't move up,” Krawietz says. The German team prides itself on being one of the exceptions. Krawietz and Mies are the first team to win a Challenger title and a Grand Slam trophy in the same year since Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich in 2008. The No. 12 seeds will face off against Portugal’s Joao Sousa and Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in the last eight.
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