Defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan and Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had been each ousted from the US Open by 18-year-olds in epic stunners on Friday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka was shocked by Canadian left-hander Leylah Fernandez 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 after Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz upset French Open runner-up Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 0-6, 7-6 (7/5).
“Honestly the Alcaraz match gave me motivation and gave me the energy to do the same,” Fernandez mentioned. “I saw his match and I saw the way he won and I’m like ‘I’m going to do that next now.’”
After the upset, defending champion Osaka introduced she was taking a break from enjoying tennis.
“I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” Osaka mentioned, wiping away tears. “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”
Osaka, who had gained her prior 16 Grand Slam matches, was foiled in a bid for her third US Open crown in 4 years and the primary back-to-back title since Serena Williams in 2014.
Alcaraz is the youngest man within the US Open fourth spherical since 17-year-old American Michael Chang in 1989, and at any Slam since Ukraine’s Andrei Medvedev within the 1992 French Open.
“Incredible. Incredible feeling for me,” Alcaraz mentioned. “This victory means loads to me. It’s the very best match of my profession, the very best win.
“To beat Stefanos Tsitsipas is a dream come true and to win here is even more special for me.”
Osaka had a serious meltdown on courtroom throughout the closing moments of the second set after she was unable to carry serve for the victory.
“From the very beginning, right before the match, I knew I was able to win,” Fernandez mentioned. “Thanks to New York fans. They helped me get the win.”
Osaka, who hadn’t performed since Monday due to a second-round walkover, took the primary set in 37 minutes on her sixth ace.
But she was damaged within the twelfth recreation of the second set, an errant forehand sending her to a tie-breaker.
That started a sequence of repeated racquet smashings as she was humbled within the tie-break to power a 3rd set.
“I wanted to stay on court a little longer,” mentioned Fernandez, who turns 19 on Monday. “One hour was just not enough for me.”
Fernandez then hit a forehand winner to interrupt Osaka to begin the third set.
Osaka saved two break factors to carry within the third recreation and from there each held to the end, which got here after two hours and 4 minutes, sending Fernandez in opposition to German sixteenth seed Angelique Kerber in her first Grand Slam fourth spherical look.
“It’ll be a battle,” Fernandez mentioned. “We’re just going to have fun. I’ll put on a show like I did tonight.”
Fernandez, the daughter of an Ecuadoran father and Filipino-Canadian mom, gained her first WTA title in March at Monterrey. She had by no means overwhelmed so high-ranked a rival as third-rated Osaka and the identical was true for Alcaraz when he despatched dwelling the boys’s world quantity three.
– ‘It’s sort of bitter’ –
Alcaraz grew to become the youngest man to beat a top-three participant on the US Open for the reason that rankings started in 1973.
World quantity 55 Alcaraz subsequent faces 141st-ranked German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, who ousted Swiss Henri Laaksonen 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.
Alcaraz gained his first ATP title at Umag in July, changing into the tour’s youngest champion since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in 2008 at Delray Beach.
The teen nicknamed “Next Nadal” was the group darling at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with roars erupting as he blasted 33 winners previous Tsitsipas.
“Without this crowd, I haven’t the possibility to win the match,” Alcaraz mentioned. “I was down at the beginning of the fourth set so thank you to the crowd for pushing me up in the fifth.”
Tsitsipas opened the ultimate tie-break with an ace however Alcaraz jumped forward 5-2 and 6-3 earlier than ending issues with a forehand winner after 4 hours and 7 minutes of play. He collapsed on the courtroom to have fun.
“It’s one of those matches where you feel like you’re in control and it doesn’t go your way,” Tsitsipas mentioned. “It’s kind of bitter.”
American Frances Tiafoe sprung an upset, ousting fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 6-1 in a late-night encounter.
Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev, the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open runner-up, beat Spain’s 74th-ranked Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4, 6-3. He will subsequent face British twenty fourth seed Daniel Evans.
Women’s second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus additionally superior with ease, beating American Danielle Collins 6-3, 6-3.