Nadal hands Gasquet loss to reach 4th round
Up next for Nadal is American hope Frances Tiafoe
NEW YORK — Rafa Nadal handed old foe Richard Gasquet a Flushing Meadows mugging on Saturday walloping the Frenchman 6-0 6-1 7-5 to ease into the U.S. Open fourth round.
Losing to Nadal is nothing new for Gasquet who is now 0-18 against the Spaniard but seldom over the years has the Frenchman absorbed such a beating.
Nadal is always a favorite in New York but such was the second seed's dominance that even the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd tried to lift Gasquet's spirit as he fell behind 6-0 3-0.
When Gasquet finally held serve in the 10th game the crowd gave a mighty roar as the 36-year-old French veteran raised his arms into the air in triumph.
The beating, however, quickly resumed with Nadal sweeping the next five games to take the second set and a 2-0 lead in the third.
At that point Nadal took his foot off the gas and when Gasquet broke the 22-times Grand Slam winner to level the third set at 2-2 it earned him a standing ovation.
It took a few games for Nadal to get back in gear but the outcome was never in doubt, the Spaniard collecting his seventh break of the match to go up 6-5 then coolly holding serve to clinch a convincing win.
Up next for Nadal is American hope Frances Tiafoe who advanced with a 7-6(7) 6-4 6-4 win over Argentine 14th seed Diego Schwartzman.
Norrie moves on to fourth round
British number one Cameron Norrie chipped away at Holger Rune's defenses to win 7-5 6-4 6-1 on Saturday and reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time with new confidence on the Grand Slam stage.
The 27-year-old Wimbledon semifinalist had already beaten Rune twice this year and showed he had not lost the winning formula in sizzling conditions, making 22 unforced errors to his 19-year-old Danish opponent's 43.
Rune saved 11 of the 18 break points he faced in the match but was left without answers in the third set when Norrie, who had hold of the momentum, stormed through in 29 minutes without dropping a single first-serve point.
He next faces ninth seed Andrey Rublev, who survived an epic duel with Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4 2-6 6-7(3) 6-4 7-6(7).
The Russian saved 13 of 17 breaks across the match in a tremendous defensive display but failed to clinch it on three match points late in the fifth set, as hard-hitting Shapovalov got a critical break to send it into a tiebreak.
Rublev overcame a rowdy Grandstand crowd firmly on his opponent's side to clinch it on the fifth match point before collapsing to the court and burying his face in his hands.
Kvitova outlasts Muguruza
Czech Petra Kvitova sent across 14 aces to down Spanish ninth seed Garbine Muguruza 5-7 6-3 7-6(10) in a thrilling third-round duel at the U.S. Open Saturday.
Kvitova was in good form headed into Flushing Meadows after reaching the Cincinnati final and reiterated her claim as one of tennis' great fighters when she saved match point twice late in the third set to push the affair into the tiebreak.
The twice Wimbledon champion said she was inspired by 23-times Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, whose emotional farewell to the U.S. Open with a gritty, third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday overshadowed the entire tournament.
Muguruza, who suffered first-round exits from Wimbledon and Roland-Garros before pulling out of August's Silicon Valley Classic with an injury, was not at her fighting best as she sent over 21 winners to 43 from her opponent across the match.
Alcaraz trounces Brooksby
World number four Carlos Alcaraz used his mighty forehand to swat aside American Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-3 6-3 in a superb third-round performance at the U.S. Open on Saturday.
The Spanish teen rocketed to stardom as the youngest man to reach the quarter-final at Flushing Meadows last year and looks on track for another memorable run after making 46 winners to just 10 from his opponent inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The third seed has enjoyed a terrific 2022, winning in Miami and Barcelona before downing a fearsome trio of Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to win Madrid.
A crisis of confidence led to an early exit from Montreal but Alcaraz showed no such issues on Saturday when he recovered from a slow start in the third set.
Up a break in the second game, Brooksby gave the home crowd a thrill when he fell backwards during a 17-shot rally but incredibly recovered to win the point. He added to the crowd's elation when he broke the third seed to love in the next game.
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