‘Aggressive’ Rafael Nadal ‘ready to accept challenge’ of big-serving Marin Cilic
Rafael Nadal made light of Hyeon Chung to reach the fourth round of the US Open, but he knows he can expect a tougher challenge from Marin Cilic next.
The three-time champion and second seed was in cruise control against qualifier Chung as he won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
6-3, 6-4, 6-2 🇪🇸👊@RafaelNadal surges into R4 after dispatching Chung in Arthur Ashe Stadium…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2019
“I’m happy to be in the fourth round for one more time. It was a good match,” he said.
“I’m trying to play a little bit more aggressive.”
Next up is the big-serving Cilic after the former champion beat American hope John Isner 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
Eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Nadal knows chances are likely to be limited against the Croatian and he needs to up his game.
“The key is play well,” he said. “That simple. If I am playing well, I going to have hopefully my chances to return a couple of points and give me chances.
“I know against big servers like them, chances are not a lot, so you need to be ready to expect a very tough one. But I need to be focused with my serve, as always.
“I need to be ready to accept the challenge that brings the competition in days like these ones. And I hope to be ready to play my highest level, because that’s what I going to need.”
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev reached the second week at Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career as he came through another tough encounter as he needed four sets to beat Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, winning 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
“It’s the first time in the second week,” Zverev said. “Obviously it’s a fourth round. I don’t really want to stop here. I want to keep going. I want to keep improving my game.
“It doesn’t get easier, the opponents don’t get easier, the matches don’t get easier. We’ll see how it goes. But I’m happy for now.”
The German will take on Diego Schwartzman for a place in the quarter-final after the Argentine beat Tennys Sandgren from the United States 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
Andy Murray pondering his own retirement question after week of reflection
We now wait to see which member of the fable ‘Big Four’ will join Federer in retirement and Murray might well be next.
ATP Rankings: Lorenzo Sonego returns to top 50 with Metz win
Lorenzo Sonego will jump 20 places to be ranked as the World No 45 next week after he beat Alexander Bublik on Sunday.
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime lead Team World to Laver Cup win
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime scored big victories on Sunday to save John McEnroe’s bacon.
Felix Auger-Aliassime puts Team World on the brink of Laver Cup history
Felix Auger-Aliassime had a Sunday to remember at the Laver Cup
Cameron Norrie lays out intention to push for ATP Finals place
The Briton will look to finish 2022 by qualifying outright for the end-of-season finals in Turin.
Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer farewell a beautiful moment
The 21-time grand-slam champion paid tribute to his old rival.
Novak Djokovic does what he does best and contributes to Roger Federer’s farewell
Team Europe hold an 8-4 advantage over their counterparts from the rest of the world in the race to 13 at the Laver Cup.
Novak Djokovic steps up to put Team Europe back on track
Novak Djokovic helped Team Europe retake the lead at the Laver Cup on Saturday.
Rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen surges into first WTA final in Tokyo
Zheng Qinwen will contest her first WTA Tour final against Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo.
Team Europe take lead in Laver Cup as Roger Federer watches
Matteo Berrettini gave Europe the edge in the Laver Cup on Saturday.