Canada’s Shapovalov falls to Rublev in 5-set marathon at U.S. Open

Russian Andrey Rublev rallied to beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (7) in a tough third-round men’s singles match Saturday at the U.S. Open.

Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., had 23 aces and 76 winners in the match, which lasted four hours seven minutes. But he also registered 72 unforced errors, compared to 38 for the ninth-seeded Rublev, who finished with nine aces and 38 winners.

And while both players recorded four service breaks, Rublev did so in half as many chances as Shapovalov (nine compared to 17). Shapovalov went into the match as the last remaining Canadian in singles at the Grand Slam event.

Rublev broke Shapovalov for the fourth time to go ahead 5-4 in the fifth set but the Canadian, after saving three match points, registered his fourth service break to make it 5-5. The two then held serve to force the deciding tiebreaker.

After falling behind 3-0, Shapovalov came back to make it 3-3. Rublev went ahead 5-3 with the Canadian again coming back to make it 5-4.

Rublev went ahead 8-4 and Shapovalov fought back to make it 8-6.And he did pull to within 9-7 but that’s as close as Shapovalov would come.

Rublev and Shapovalov remained on serve through the opening nine games of the first set before Rublev converted his first break attempt to secure the 6-4 victory. Shapovalov struggled with his first serve (39 per cent) and failed to convert either of his two break points.

But the Canadian returned the favour in the second set, recording a pair of break points en route to a commanding 5-1 advantage. After Rublev held serve, Shapovalov then did so for a 6-2 win to tie the match.

WATCH | Shapovalov’s U.S. Open run ends in 3rd-round thriller:

Shapovalov out of U.S. Open in 3rd round thriller

The Canadian fell to Andrey Rublev 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-7) to end his run at the U.S. Open.

The Canadian improved his first serve to 51 per cent entering the third set while having recorded seven aces compared to just one for Rublev.

The two went back to holding serve through the first six games of the third set to force the tiebreaker. But the Canadian had the better of it, securing the 7-3 victory for the 2-1 advantage.

But Rublev forced a fifth and deciding set by taking the fourth 6-4. And while Shapovalov had fired 18 aces to that point — Rublev had five — the Canadian was only at 52 per cent on his first serve (Rublev was at 60 per cent) and both players had registered three breaks, although Shapovalov had double the opportunities (14 to seven).

Earlier in the day, Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and her partner Daria Saville of Russia, lost their second-round women’s doubles match 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-7 (10) to American Bernarda Pera and Dalma Galfia of Hungary.

Pegula advances to 4th round for 1st time

Jessica Pegula reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time by beating qualifier Yuan Yue 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-0 in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The eighth-seeded Pegula wasted a chance to close it out when she held a match point in the tiebreaker but rolled through the third set in a half-hour.

Pegula, a 28-year-old American whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, finished with nearly twice as many winners as Yuan, 35-18.

Next for Pegula: She faces two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Monday with a quarter-final berth on the line.

Pegula came into Saturday with a 0-2 record in third-round matches at Flushing Meadows, losing at that stage to Kvitova in 2020 and to Belinda Bencic in 2021.

Pegula started her Grand Slam career by going 3-8. She’s gone 22-7 since, including runs to quarter-finals at the Australian Open each of the past two years and the French Open this year.

Kvitova erases pair of match points en route to victory

Kvitova erased a pair of match points and converted her fourth to edge Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10) in a showdown between two-time major champions.

Kvitova reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the seventh time. She last made it to the U.S. Open quarter-finals in 2017.

She kept coming back — after dropping the first set, after trailing 5-2 in the third, after being a point from defeat twice at 6-5.

Here’s how close this one was: Kvitova won 109 total points, Muguruza 108.

It took the new format final-set tiebreaker to determine the winner. The four Grand Slam tournaments agreed to adopt a uniform system this year, with the third sets of women’s matches and fifth sets of men’s decided by a first-to-10, win-by-two formula; the U.S. Open used to have the more traditional first-to-seven setup.

Kvitova, a left-hander who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, overcame 12 double-faults with 14 aces and 50 total winners. She improved to 6-1 against No. 9 seed Muguruza, the champion at the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.

19-year-old Alcaraz eliminates Brooksby

Carlos Alcaraz has become became the youngest man since Pete Sampras in 1989 and ’90 to reach the fourth round in consecutive U.S. Opens. The 19-year-old Alcaraz knocked off Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Alcaraz reached the quarter-finals last year at 18.

Alcaraz was down 3-0 in the third set until he won six straight games to take off and top Brooksby. Brooksby was 20 last year when he went to the fourth round, where Novak Djokovic eliminated him in four sets.

Alcaraz, always hustling, on the move, appeared to blow out a pair of sneakers and needed a change of shoes during the match. He gave away another pair of sneakers to fans in celebration of the victory.

Alcaraz advances to play the winner of Marin Cilic vs. Daniel Evans.

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