NEW YORK, September 5, 2016
Lucas Pouille caused the upset of the day, knocking out two time champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the US Open on Sunday. The 22-year-old Frenchman backed up his Wimbledon quarterfinal appearance with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory over the Spaniard. Pouille converted his fourth match point after four hours and six minutes.
“I couldnt’ dream better than this,” Pouille said. “I think because mentally I’m stronger, physically I’m stronger, that gave me a lot of confidence before the match. I knew if I wanted to win that, it’s not going to be like three sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. It would be long. So I was ready for it.”
Nadal was obviously disappointed.
”There were things I could do better. Had the right attitude. I fought right up to the last ball,” the fourth seed from Spain told. ‘‘But I need something else. I need something more that was not there today.”
Next up for Pouille will be Gael Monfils. The 30-year-old Frenchman ousted Marco Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 58 minutes.
“It’s always a pleasure to play against Marcos and you know you always have to play your best,” Monfils said in his on-court interview. “I think I had to be very consistent with my serve because he’s a pretty good returner. I was good on my forehand today and I was very fast on the baseline. Everything was good today.”
Djokovic Shines Under The Lights
World number one Novak Djokovic remained untroubled in his night session against NextGen member Kyle Edmund, winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. The Serbian capitalized on eight of his 15 break point chances to advance into the quarterfinals in New York for the 10th consecutive year after one hour and 55 minutes.
“I was pleased,” said Djokovic. “Very pleased, except a little drop in the level in the third set, midway through the third set. Other than that, everything was great. It’s good to play an entire match, considering I had not much time spent on the court in past couple of rounds. So far I only played night sessions. I actually like playing night sessions very much. Hopefully the next one can be also night session.”
Djokovic will next face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated the last US-American standing Jack Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. The ninth seed sent down 11 aces and hit 54 winners to secure victory in three hours and 13 minutes.
“It was really difficult because he played great in the third,” Tsonga said after the match. “I just tried to play my game in the fourth and that’s it. Stay focused on what I have to do.”
With Pouille, Tsonga and Monfils making it into the stage of the final eight, it has been the first time in 89 years that three Frenchmen will appear in the quarterfinalists of the US-American Grand Slam tournament.