US Open 2023: Ostapenko v Gauff, Fritz v Djokovic in quarter-finals – live | US Open Tennis 2023

new balance


Key events

Marion Bartoli says she’s played everyone, including Serena, and no one hits the ball as hard as Ostapenko. You’d take that!

Ostapenkz hit 31 winners against Swiatek, a rrridiculous quantity. If she manages similar today, she’ll be a problem, and one thing we know for sure: she will not be scared or die wondering.

So what’s Gauff’s presumed locker-room moniker? I guess she’s already got Coco, but I’m trying to work out whether the rules governing these things demand Gauffy, Gauffsy or Gauffs.

Gauff and Ostapenko – or Otapenkz as I hope she’s know in the locker room – have met twice before, winning one apiece. Gauff won the final at Linz in 2019 – her first singles title, aged 15 – ! – but Ostapenko saw her away in this year’s Australian Open.

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Preamble

What’s up dudes?! And welcome to the US Open 2023 – day nine! It’s quarter-final time, baby!

We start today with a confrontation for which the technical term is “an absolute stonker”. Coco Gauff has improved hugely this past year or so and given she was pretty handy already, that makes her a very serious proposition. Her forehand is still a little suss but it’s better than it was, and perhaps more than anything she seems to have found equilibrium, absolutely loving her tennis, while competing like an absolute lunatic, absolutely certain that if she keeps doing the right things, that first Grand Slam title will be along soon enough, so there’s no point sweating the precise timing. But, given the elimination of Iga Switaek, against whom she’s 1-7, she’ll know that her time might be now.

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However, on the other side of the net is Jelena Ostapenko – conqueror of the aforementioned and already a major champion, fortifying her with a confidence Gauff cannot yet deploy. In the history of tennis, there’ve been few players – if any – with a riskier, more aggressive style; not so good when it doesn’t work, but when it does it’s close to unbeatable. It may also be that maturity is tempering it slightly and as such this is a match that’s almost impossible to call; lucky us!

Then, following them onto court, we’ve got Taylor Fritz and Novak Djokovic – on the face of things, a likely blowout. Djokovic is, by almost every measure, the greatest male tenniser ever, has won all seven of his meetings with today’s opponent, and much as he intimates to the contrary, he’ll be raging to have lost the Wimbledon final.

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Fritz, though, is making strides, his best or joint-best Grand Slam performances all coming within the last two years. He has a big serve, gigantic groundstrokes and plenty of bottle, so if he can find the best version of himself, you never know. Let’s go, dudes!

new balance



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