Three Things To Watch: Day 9
Sam Querrey of Thousand Oaks, Calif., is making his third appearance in the last 16 of a major after the 2008 U.S. Open and '10 Wimbledon. (AP)
SI.com’s daily menu of must-see happenings at the U.S. Open (all times Eastern).
• No. 25 Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 20 Sam Querrey (Arthur Ashe Stadium, not before 1 p.m.): The last U.S. men's player standing is neither the highest-ranked (Roddick), nor the record-setter (Isner), nor the hottest entering the tournament (Fish). But while the other three top-25 Americans have made headlines in 2010 for their supermodel wives, marathon matches, and drastic weight losses, Querrey has quietly bagged four titles while making the last 16 at Wimbledon and, now, the U.S. Open. The 6-foot-6 Californian's booming serve and punishing forehand were in full display in Sunday's comprehensive 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 14 seed Nicolas Almagro. Both Querrey and Wawrinka have made Round of 16 appearances at multiple Grand Slam tournaments, but only one will be a first-time quarterfinalist after today.
• No. 6 Francesca Schiavone vs. No. 3 Venus Williams (Arthur Ashe Stadium, third match): The surprise isn't a Schiavone-Williams quarterfinal, it's the painless roads they both traveled to the last eight. Neither player has dropped a set at Flushing Meadows -- no small feat after Schiavone went just 3-6 after her shock French Open victory, while Venus left the tour entirely after Wimbledon with a sprained knee. This is a tall order for Schiavone, whose creative all-court game is better suited for slower courts and seems vulnerable to Venus' power-baseline assault. But the 30-year-old has punched above her weight before, particularly during her ascent over the past year from top-20 to top-10 player. If Franny can pull off the upset, it's a good sign: Venus has gone down to the eventual champion in five of her six U.S. Open appearances since winning back-to-back titles here in 2000 and '01.
• No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 23 Feliciano Lopez (Arthur Ashe Stadium, last match): Six of the 16 men remaining -- including the entire top quarter of the draw -- hail from Spain. Nadal and Lopez are meeting for a place in the quarters, where they'll face the winner of David Ferrer-Fernando Verdasco for a trip to the semis. The top-ranked and top-seeded Nadal, who is gunning for a career Grand Slam here, has yet to drop a set in three matches and enters as a heavy favorite. But the 28-year-old Lopez did win their only 2010 meeting in straight sets on the grass at Queen's Club. Others to watch: No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny vs. Tommy Robredo (Louis Armstrong Stadium, 11 a.m.); No. 1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan vs. No. 9 Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski (Louis Armstrong Stadium, not before 2 p.m.); No. 10 David Ferrer vs. No. 8 Fernando Verdasco (Louis Armstrong Stadium, not before 4 p.m.); No. 5 Samantha Stosur vs. No. 2 Kim Clijsters (Arthur Ashe Stadium, 7 p.m.).