A summary of Saturday's action at the US Open.
Rafael Nadal handed old foe Richard Gasquet a Flushing Meadows mugging on Saturday, walloping the Frenchman 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 to ease into the US Open fourth round.
Losing to Nadal is nothing new for Gasquet, who is now 0-18 against the Spaniard, but seldom over the years has the Frenchman absorbed such a beating.
Nadal is always a favourite in New York but such was the second seed's dominance that even the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd tried to lift Gasquet's spirit as he fell behind 6-0, 3-0.
When Gasquet finally held serve in the 10th game the crowd gave a mighty roar as the 36-year-old French veteran raised his arms into the air in triumph.
The beating, however, quickly resumed with Nadal sweeping the next five games to take the second set and a 2-0 lead in the third.
At that point Nadal took his foot off the gas and when Gasquet broke the 22-times Grand Slam winner to level the third set at 2-2 it earned him a standing ovation.
It took a few games for Nadal to get back in gear but the outcome was never in doubt, the Spaniard collecting his seventh break of the match to go up 6-5 then coolly holding serve to clinch a convincing win.
Up next for Nadal is American hope Frances Tiafoe, who advanced with a 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-4 win over Argentine 14th seed Diego Schwartzman.
Alcaraz trounces home hope Brooksby
World number four Carlos Alcaraz used his mighty forehand to swat aside American Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in a superb third-round performance at the US Open on Saturday.
The Spanish teen rocketed to stardom as the youngest man to reach the quarter-final at Flushing Meadows last year and looks on track for another memorable run after making 46 winners to just 10 from his opponent inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I played really, really well," the 19-year-old said in an on-court interview. "I knew that it was going to be a tough match... I'm really happy with my performance."
The third seed has enjoyed a terrific 2022, winning in Miami and Barcelona before downing a fearsome trio of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to win Madrid.
A crisis of confidence led to an early exit from Montreal but Alcaraz showed no such issues on Saturday when he recovered from a slow start in the third set.
Up a break in the second game, Brooksby gave the home crowd a thrill when he fell backwards during a 17-shot rally but incredibly recovered to win the point. He added to the crowd's elation when he broke the third seed to love in the next game.
The party would be short-lived, however, as Alcaraz won the next six games in ruthless fashion.
Swiatek tames Davis
World number one Iga Swiatek dug her way out of a second set hole to notch a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Lauren Davis and reach the fourth round of the US Open for the second straight year.
The French Open champion fired an unreturnable serve out wide to capture the first set but fell behind 4-1 in the second as Davis raised her level.
Despite the deficit the feisty Pole stubbornly refused to drop her first set of the tournament, winning a tense 16-shot rally to set up break points at 4-4, which she converted when Davis whacked a backhand into the net.
The top seed admitted she was not at her best during the two-hour night match on Louis Armstrong Stadium despite reeling off the match's final five games.
"I couldn't find my rhythm today," Swiatek said in an on-court interview.
"She played totally differently than any other player. She played very smart.
"I'm trying to enjoy every match even when I'm not playing perfectly. Just trying to go for it. Trying to find solutions in every situation."
Next up for Swiatek is a meeting with Germany's Jule Niemeier, who defeated China's Qinwen 6-4, 7-6(5).
Fiery Collins dismantles Cornet challenge to set up Sabalenka date
American Danielle Collins came out all guns blazing, hammering 52 winners past experienced Alize Cornet of France in a 6-4, 7-6(9) victory to book her spot in the fourth round of the US Open for the first time.
In a classic contest between the contrasting styles of attack and defence, the 28-year-old Collins came out on top by firing rocket groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand in front of an appreciative crowd in the day's final match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Collins, who finished runner-up at the Australian Open this year, will next face sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in a battle of hard hitters for a spot in the quarter-finals.
"This is one of my favourite slams. But didn't have my best results at this specific one," Collins, who beat two-time former champion Naomi Osaka in her opening round, said.
"To be able to kind of have my best results that I've had here has been great. Obviously want to try to take it to the next level and do the best I can. With the way I'm playing, I've just got to take it one match at a time."
Cornet, who was contesting her 63rd consecutive main draw at the majors and had defeated last year's champion Emma Raducanu in her opening round, knew she had to force Collins into making errors to have any chance of a victory.
But her American opponent made few mistakes during the one hour and 53 minute contest, while managing to hit more than three times the number of winners.
A single break of Cornet's serve in the fifth game was enough for Collins to take the opening set.
The American set up her first match point during a closely contested tiebreaker but was forced to save three set points before she could close out the match with a backhand winner at the net.
Sabalenka spent two hours and 15 minutes on court in her previous round, during which she rallied from 5-1 down in the second set and saved two match points to beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.
It was a much easier outing on Saturday evening for the Belarusian on the final match on Grandstand court.
The former world number two, a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows last year, steamrolled qualifier Clara Burel 6-0, 6-2 in just 68 minutes, hitting 27 winners past the 21-year-old from France.
Cilic overcomes Evans to go through
Croatia’s Marin Cilic had to work hard for a 7-6(11), 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 victory over Great Britain’s Daniel Evans to make the fourth round for the first time since 2019.
The 2014 champion blasted 74 winners to set up a meeting against No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz, who was a straight-sets winner over American Jenson Brooksby earlier Saturday.
The 19-year-old Spaniard leads their head-to-head 2-1, including a straight-sets win last month in Cincinnati.
But Cilic will be ready to match Alcaraz’s power hitting after never backing down against Evans. He denied the Brit back-to-back fourth-round showings in Flushing Meadows.
Cilic saved three set points before taking the 24-point first-set tie-break. In the second, he was broken while serving for the set at 6-5, and Evans evened the third-round tilt when Cilic dumped a backhand slice into the net.
But Cilic took over in the third set, blending the big hitting that saw him beat Roger Federer in the 2014 US Open semi-finals with deft touch and nimble movement. Evans made a run in the fourth, saving a match point in the 10th game. But Cilic broke to love in the 12th game when Evans sailed a forehand wide.
Norrie sets up fourth-round showdown with Rublev
British number one Cameron Norrie chipped away at Holger Rune's defences to win 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 and reach the fourth round at the US Open for the first time with new confidence on the Grand Slam stage.
The 27-year-old Wimbledon semi-finalist had already beaten Rune twice this year and showed he had not lost the winning formula in sizzling conditions, making 22 unforced errors to his 19-year-old Danish opponent's 43.
Rune saved 11 of the 18 break points he faced in the match but was left without answers in the third set when Norrie, who had hold of the momentum, stormed through in 29 minutes without dropping a single first-serve point.
"Just went two hours and he kind of dropped his intensity, and started playing too aggressive, in my opinion, and was missing a lot," said Norrie. "I feel like I did my job."
The seventh seed enjoyed a career breakthrough when he reached the second week of a major for the first time at the All England Club earlier this year. While no ranking points were on the offer, the performance provided a clear mental boost.
He next faces ninth seed Andrey Rublev, who survived an epic duel with Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(7).
The Russian saved 13 of 17 breaks across the match in a tremendous defensive display but failed to clinch it on three match points late in the fifth set, as hard-hitting Shapovalov got a critical break to send it into a tiebreak.
Rublev overcame a rowdy Grandstand crowd firmly on his opponent's side to clinch it on the fifth match point before collapsing to the court and burying his face in his hands.
Kvitova outlasts Muguruza in tense duel
Czech Petra Kvitova sent across 14 aces to down Spanish ninth seed Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(10) in a thrilling third-round duel.
Kvitova was in good form headed into Flushing Meadows after reaching the Cincinnati final and reiterated her claim as one of tennis' great fighters when she saved match point twice late in the third set to push the affair into the tiebreak.
The twice Wimbledon champion said she was inspired by 23-times Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, whose emotional farewell to the US Open with a gritty, third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday overshadowed the entire tournament.
"I watched Serena last night and it was amazing how she was saving those match points, so I tried to do the same," said Kvitova.
Muguruza, who suffered first-round exits from Wimbledon and Roland-Garros before pulling out of August's Silicon Valley Classic with an injury, was not at her fighting best as she sent over 21 winners to 43 from her opponent across the match.
The twice Grand Slam champion Muguruza pulled out every weapon in her arsenal to defend three match points in the 22-point tiebreak but was forced to endure another heartache this year when she whacked the ball into the net on the final play.
"I'm proud of my fighting spirit. I have had some tough losses this year, but definitely this one makes me feel like my fighting spirit was there, my tennis was there," said Muguruza.
Kvitova had the crowd squarely on her side in her 15th appearance in the Flushing Meadows main draw but it will be a different story when she faces home hope Jessica Pegula next, after the American reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros.