10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Ricky’s Tennis Previews and Picks for the US Open Men’s Quarterfinals on Tuesday, including Auger-Aliassime vs. Alcaraz

Felix Auger-Aliassime in action against Frances Tiafoe during their match on the seventh day of the US Open. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

By Ricky Dimon

A total of three unseeded players are in the men’s quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. Two of the three will be taking the court on Tuesday: Carlos Alcaraz and Botic Van de Zandschulp. They are going up against Felx Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev, respectively.

Ricky previews those two men’s matches and makes his predictions.

(12) Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Carlos Alcaraz

Auger-Aliassime and Alcaraz be squaring off for the first time in their careers. The 18-year-old especially has joined Van de Zandschulp and Harris as surprising quarterfinalists. The 18-year-old’s breakthrough performance is highlighted by a famous five-set upset of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round. He has also taken out Cameron Norrie (straight sets), Arthur Rinderknech (four), and Peter Gojowyczk (a second consecutive five-setter). Alcaraz, who captured his first ATP title earlier this summer in Umag, will climb to at least No. 39 in the world even if he loses on Tuesday.

The first week wasn’t easy for Auger-Aliassime, either. He outlasted Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(0), 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8), made quick work of Bernabe Zapata Miralles, outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets, and most recently beat Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-4 on Sunday night. Auger-Aliassime is getting night-session treatment again here, and it is obviously a situation he can handle. Alcaraz seemed to be nearing the physical wall against Gojowyczk (perhaps the mental one, too), which is another reason to like Auger-Aliassime’s chances.

Pick: Auger-Aliassime in 4

Daniil Medvedev hits a return to Daniel Evans during their match on the seventh day of the US Open. EPA-EFE/PETER FOLEY

(Q) Botic Van de Zandschulp vs. (2) Daniil Medvedev

Van de Zandschulp is one of the most surprising U.S. Open quarterfinalists in recent memory. At No. 117 in the world, it would have been less surprising if he had lost in the first round of qualifying–which he almost did. The 25-year-old actually dropped the opening set in all three of his qualifying matches and in each of his first three main-draw efforts (against Carlos Taberner, Casper Ruud, and Facundo Bagnis). Van de Zandschulp finally got off to a fast start in the round of 16 on Sunday, when he upset Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1.

Up next for the Dutchman during quarterfinal action on Tuesday is Medvedev, and as you might expect they have never gone head-to-head. Much unlike his run to the 2019 final, Medvedev made little fuss of the first week. The second-ranked Russian did not lose a set or even play a tiebreaker against Richard Gasquet, Dominik Koepfer, Pablo Adujar, and Dan Evans. Medvedev is 22-3 in his last 25 matches and he has not lost to anyone outside the top 30 this season. Don’t be surprised if Van de Zandschulp is the first player to push Medvedev to a tiebreaker, but for the most part this will likely be another routine day at the office for the No. 2 seed.

Pick: Medvedev in 3 losing 11-14 games

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.