With 2014 champion Marin Cilic and 22-time major winner Rafael Nadal both bowing out of the US Open at the fourth-round stage, a maiden men’s Grand Slam champion is now guaranteed.
Carlos Alcaraz needed five sets to battle past Cilic in a near 2.30am finish local time, and the 19-year-old Spaniard is the highest remaining seed - at No. 3 - left in the men’s draw heading into the last eight.
Meanwhile, Frances Tiafoe produced a stunning performance to knock out Nadal, winning through in four sets to blow the draw wide open.
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The quarter-finals get under way on Tuesday, and here we preview every encounter in the men’s draw, knowing that a new major champion will be crowned come Sunday.
Matteo Berrettini (13) v Casper Ruud (5)
Set for a 5pm start UK time on Tuesday, the first men’s quarter-final sees No. 1 hopeful Casper Ruud face off against Matteo Berrettini.
Ruud, 23, is enjoying his best run at Flushing Meadows, and could claim the top ranking after the US Open with Nadal and Daniil Medvedev already out.
Alcaraz’s own exploits will dictate where Ruud, the French Open finalist this year, ends up, but ranking will not be his focus now.
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First he must take down Berrettini, the big-serving Italian who has brushed off a disappointing North American swing to reach the last eight.
Berrettini lost the 2021 Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic, and his best run at the US Open so far was the semi-finals in 2021.
Nick Kyrgios (23) v Karen Khachanov (27)
Step forward bookmakers’ favourite Nick Kyrgios. The Australian put in a dominant performance to end Medvedev’s reign in the fourth round, and now the No. 23 seed is fancied to go the distance.
With a Wimbledon final under his belt, a match he lost to Djokovic in four sets, Kyrgios is now used to playing a full fortnight of tennis, and it could be argued that – albeit in a stacked field – he is the most talented player remaining. On his day.
He faces No. 27 seed Karen Khachanov next, the 26-year-old Russian who is yet to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, having last reached the quarters of a major at Wimbledon last year.
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Jannik Sinner (11) v Carlos Alcaraz (3)
Quite possibly the pick of the men’s quarter-final ties, Carlos Alcaraz’s reward for a late-night win over Cilic is a match against a player he has lost twice to already this season.
Jannik Sinner won their Wimbledon last-16 showdown in four sets two months ago, and later in July the Italian enjoyed a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 triumph at the Croatia Open.
With Alcaraz 19 and Sinner 21, these battles are expected to come later and later in Grand Slams as the years roll by.
On this occasion it is a quarter-final, but do not be surprised to see the pair face off in a final next year.
Both Alcaraz and Sinner are looking to reach their first Grand Slam semi-final.
Andrey Rublev (9) v Frances Tiafoe (22)
The spotlight will be on Nadal’s conqueror Frances Tiafoe after his spectacular win, and he certainly has the game to go all the way at his home Grand Slam.
The 24-year-old is living up to the potential he showed earlier in his career, and is now targeting a first Grand Slam semi-final himself.
In his way stands Andrey Rublev, the No. 9 seed who is also yet to reach a major semi-final, with this his third attempt at trying to make the last four of the US Open.
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