NEW YORK (Reuters) – Second seed Daniil Medvedev resumes his bid for his first Grand Slam title against Britain’s Dan Evans at the U.S. Open on Sunday, while Aryna Sabalenka faces her good friend and doubles partner Elise Mertens in the fourth round.
Russia’s Medvedev, a losing finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2019, is yet to drop a set in New York so far and faces world number 27 Evans in the second match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first career meeting between the two.
“I think it’s tough to describe (Evans) with one word, but (he’s) definitely very tricky,” Medvedev said. “I would think (he’s) very smart because he doesn’t have one shot that’s a weapon and yet he’s been a top player for many years already.”
Medvedev has barely broken a sweat in the opening rounds, racing into the last 16 with three consecutive straight sets wins, while Evans has had to battle hard, playing two four-setters and a gruelling five-setter against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin in his last match.
“I think my game is in a good place,” Evans said, adding that he was trying to keep a positive mindset.
“(Medvedev’s) been playing some unbelievable tennis this year, but if I go on the court and think I’ve got no chance and there’s no pressure on me… you’re not ready for that.
“You’ve got to go in believing you can win.”
Sabalenka, the women’s second seed, is aiming to reach her first singles quarter-final in New York, but must first get past her good friend Mertens at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The Belarusian won the 2019 doubles title at Flushing Meadows with Mertens and the pair also won the doubles crown at this year’s Australian Open before Sabalenka decided to focus more on her singles career.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova takes on twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in the evening session on Arthur Ashe, while Germany’s Angelique Kerber faces Naomi Osaka’s third-round conqueror Leylah Fernandez on Louis Armstrong.
Romania’s Simona Halep kicks things off on Arthur Ashe, taking on fifth seed Elina Svitolina, while Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz will look to extend his dream debut at Flushing Meadows into the quarter-finals when he faces qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany.
(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)