The Streak Continues For Delpo At The '18 US Open
Juan Martin del Potro walked onto the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday evening having never lost a fourth-round match at the US Open. And when the ‘Tower of Tandil’ walked off the court, that record remained firmly intact.
Del Potro defeated No. 20 seed Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals in Flushing Meadows for the third straight year. He is the only player in the top half of the draw who has yet to lose a set. The 2009 champion's average match length has been just two hours and 11 minutes, setting him up for a strong run in the second week of the season's final major.
"I think to win in straight sets every match is important for the body, for the legs, for the physical condition. But in the end every match is a new battle, and you must be 100 per cent for that moment," Del Potro said. "It doesn't matter if I win in three sets or five sets, in the next round it will be a new match."
A year ago in the fourth round, Del Potro played a very different match. He trailed Dominic Thiem two sets to none, and would face two match points in the fourth set before coming back to stun the Austrian in one of the most memorable matches of the year.
Sunday evening’s contest had no such drama. The No. 3 seed broke his opponent’s serve six times, saving the only break point he faced in the two-hour, five-minute clash.
"I think I played solid tennis from the beginning till the end," Del Potro said. "I held all my service games, [which is] the most important for my game. I felt good with my forehands, too."
Del Potro will face a stiff test in the last eight against this year's Miami champion and Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner, who battled past former World No. 3 earlier in the day in five sets. The Argentine leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-4, but the home favourite triumphed in their most recent hard-court match, which came in the Miami semi-finals.
"It will be a good challenge for both in the next round with John. I don't know what could happen in that match," Del Potro said. "John has a very good shape to play that match. It will be a really tough one."
Coric was appearing in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, backing up his Flushing Meadows upset last year of Alexander Zverev. The Croatian, despite the loss, is in strong form, currently at a career-best No. 20 in the ATP Rankings.