This really is shaping up to be a classic Open. The level of quality and entertainment in almost every match round after round is greater here than I can remember in recent years, and I like to think I have a pretty good grasp on the grand slam goings on.
But yes, let’s start with the aforementioned ‘next-gen’ of players who are hogging the headlines despite so much going on throughout both draws.
Even if her QF final showing against Bencic proves to be Emma Raducanu’s final stage here, she has weathered the British media storm with aplomb. Wimbledon rightly put her in the spotlight, but more or less she has ignored it all and just gotten on with things in the tournaments since SW18. Her demolition of an admittedly tires looking Shelby Rogers, herself having enjoyed a glittering fortnight here, was nothing short of spellbinding.
Then there is Carlos Alcaraz (who beat Tsitispas so memorably) continues to grind his way through, and is hopefully going to only go from strength to strength, but may have too little left against Auger-Aliassime. What a match that promises to be.
Lastly and perhaps criminally, I haven’t really touched upon Leylah Fernandez who’s last three opponents read as Kanepi, Osaka and Kerber. That is an amazing roster, and with Svitolina next you’d have to fancy the Canadian to triumph again, despite the Ukrainian’s dismissal of Halep last time out.
Simona’s exit was one of many more surprises in New York, the Romanian looked a bit flat and continues to be a little all or nothing in terms of form. Joining Halep on the plane back home is 2019 champ Bianca Andreescu (lost to Sakkari), Muguruza (lost to Krejcikova) and Swiatek (Bencic). I’ve caught the highlights at least (read Fatherhood) and all seemed good battles.
The men? Whilst Medvedev cruised and Djokovic and Berrettini emerged rather bruised, there were little in the way of monumental shocks. Sasha Zverev had to be clinical in a high quality match against Sinner and the unknown Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp who defeated Schwarzsman in 5 has been one of the revelations.
Quarter Final predictions
Djokovic Vs Berrettini (Berrettini)
Zverev Vs Harris (Zverev)
Auger-Aliassime Vs Alcaraz (Auger-Aliassime)
Van de Zandschulp Vs Medvedev (Medvedev)
Raducanu Vs Bencic (Raducanu)
Pliskova Vs Sakkari (Pliskova)
Svitolina Vs Fernandez (Fernandez)
Krejcikova Vs Sabalenka (Sabalenka)