Nadal, 19-year-old Alcaraz breeze into fourth round at US Open

NEW YORK: No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, a 19-year-old Spaniard, defeated unseeded Jenson Brooksby, a 21-year-old Californian, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday at the US Open, advancing to the fourth round in a facility he’s very comfortable in.
Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, was right at home in Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning his 30th night match there after making quick work of Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-1, 7-5. Alcaraz became the youngest man to reach the US Open quarterfinal last year and has created momentum for another potential run there this summer.
On Saturday, he became the youngest man since Pete Sampras in 1989 and 1990 to reach the fourth round in consecutive Opens. Alcaraz was down 3-0 in the third set until he won six straight games to take off and top Brooksby. Brooksby was 20 last year when he went to the fourth round, where Novak Djokovic eliminated him in four sets.
Alcaraz, always hustling and on the move, appeared to blow out a pair of sneakers and needed a change of shoes during the match. He gave away another pair of sneakers to fans in celebration of the victory. “I played really, really well,” he said after the match inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I knew that it was going to be a tough match. I’m really happy with my performance.”
Up a break in the second game, Brooksby gave the crowd a thrill when he fell backward 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. He will next play wither Marin Cilic or Daniel Evans.
Nadal has won four of his 22 Grand Slam titles at the US Open, most recently in 2019, the last time he entered the hard-court tournament. Nadal, who cut himself on the bridge of his nose with his own racket in his second-round victory, said his nose felt fine during the match.
“A little bit bigger than usual, but it’s OK,” he said with a smile. “The nose is still there.”
Nadal has won 34 straight sets against Gasquet and needed just over two hours to move into the fourth round. On Monday he’ll play Frances Tiafoe, the first American man since Mardy Fish in 2010-12 to get to the US Open’s fourth round in three consecutive years. Nadal has a 2-0 career mark against Tiafoe.
Elsewhere at the National Tennis Center, No. 7 Cam Norrie beat No. 28 Holger Rune 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 and No. 9 Andrey Rublev got past No. 19 Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (10-7). Norrie and Rublev play each other next, and Rublev’s match Saturday lasted more than four hours.
Rublev hit only 38 winners and had nine aces to Shapovalov’s 76 winners and 23 aces. Rublev needed five match points to finally win the match. The Russian collapsed on the ground and buried his face in his hands in exhaustion as the grandstands crowd went wild following one of the best matches in the first week of the tournament.
Rublev advanced to the US Open quarterfinals in 2017 and 2020 and also lost in the fourth round in 2019. No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner also made the quarterfinals, beating Brandon Nakashima 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in the last match Saturday night.