Five things to watch U.S. Open Day 8: Murray faces Dimitrov, Venus eyes quarters
NEW YORK – The final spots in the quarterfinals will be filled on Monday at the U.S. Open. Here are the matches and storylines you’ll want to keep an eye on, whether you're watching on TV or roaming around the grounds in Flushing Meadows. Play begins at 11 a.m. ET and coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. The full television and broadcast schedule can be found here. Full order of play for Friday can be found here.
The 18-year-old Croatian has carried her powerful serve, which has earned her 33 aces, into her first career fourth round match at a Grand Slam. Agnieska Radwanska has been the top baseline player in the tournament thus far, winning 59% of her points there, while Konjuh comes in just three spots lower at 55%. Monday’s match (second night session match, Arthur Ashe) will be a rematch of their second round match at Wimbledon this year, where Konjuh had three match point opportunities on the Pole in the third set before she appeared to roll her ankle after stepping on the ball with the third set level at seven games apiece. Both players will be looking to make their first career quarterfinal round at the U.S. Open for a shot at either Venus Williams or Karolina Pliskova.
Can Venus make it back-to-back quarterfinals?
Since needing three sets to get through her opening match, Venus Williams has looked in-form, dropping just eight games in the next two rounds. Monday will be her first big test of the tournament, as No. 11-seed Pliskova has continued her run since winning the title in Cincinnati before the U.S. Open. Can the 24-year-old, in her first career fourth round match at a Grand Slam, continue her impressive run, or will Williams get back to the quarters at the U.S Open for second straight year? Tune in and find out—it's the second match on Arthur Ashe, not before 12:30 p.m. ET.
Things won’t get easier for Murray
Andy Murray needed four sets to take down Paolo Lorenzi on Saturday and he heads into an exciting match against Grigor Dimitrov (first night session match, Arthur Ashe), who is into the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the second time in three years. Murray leads their head-to-head 6-3, but Dimitrov won their last meeting in Miami earlier this year. Both men have played well at the net; Dimitrov has converted on 30 of 37 tries there, an 81% clip, while Murray has gone there a bit more, winning 58 of 77 net points (75%). It shouldn’t disappoint.
Ivo Karlovic, a literal giant at 6’11”, has only made one trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal in his career, at Wimbledon in 2009. This season has been a revival for the 37-year-old: It’s just the third time in his career that he’s made third round of a Grand Slam twice in one year. He’s looked great at the Open, ranking second in aces (99) thanks in large part to a record-breaking 61-ace performance in the first round. He’s ranking toward the top in several categories, including first serve points won (84%, 2nd) and winners (27%, 1st). He draws the formidable sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori, a finalist at the U.S. Open two years ago (third match, Louis Armstrong).
Doubles? Doubles. Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Rajeem Ram, the seventh-seeded team in the mixed doubles draw, will face Barbora Krejcikova and Marin Draganja—who upset top-seeded Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig in the second round—in the quarterfinals (fourth match, Louis Armstrong). On what’s sure to be a packed day, if you’re in attendance, this match could be a nice pivot off the lines at Louis Armstrong and Grandstand.
One more not to miss
Juan Martin del Potro and No. 8-seed Dominic Thiem will kick off the day on Arthur Ashe stadium and you won't want to miss it. It's going to be a battle between a 27-year-old former U.S. Open champ and a 23-year-old rising star looking to make the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for only the second time in his career. No. 1 Serena Williams is also in action on Monday against Yaroslava Shvedova (third match, Arthur Ashe).