Coric survives in five, Hurkacz and Garin go out

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Alexander Zverev held off Brandon Nakashima in four sets to advance at the US Open on Wednesday. Cristian Garin and Mikhail Kukushkin went five.

The matches that ended as we anticipated

No 5 seed Alexander Zverev withstood a stern early challenge from young American Brandon Nakashima to prevail 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1. Nakashima’s talent showed throughout the first two sets, but Zverev’s far greater experience in best-of-five situations quickly proved to be the difference in the match.

No 7 David Goffin also needed four sets, as he dispatched Lloyd Harris 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

No 28 seed Jan-Lennard Struff had an even easier time of things, overpowering Michael Mmoh 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. Next up for Struff is No 1 Novak Djokovic, who surprisingly dropped the first set against Kyle Edmund but restored order quickly and won in four.

No 32 Adrian Mannarino benefited from a whole host of withdrawals to get the final seed in the men’s draw and is now through to the third round after cruising past Jack Sock 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-2. Another straight-set affair saw No 26 Filip Krajinovic rout Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. Krajinovic remains on fire after reaching the Cincinnati quarterfinals last week. Like Giron, Mitchell Krueger is a little-known American who did well just to advance on round. But he had no chance against Pablo Carreno Busta, as the Cincinnati doubles winner (along with Alex de Minaur) dominated 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

No 19 Taylor Fritz, the highest-ranked American man left in the draw, made easy 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 work of Gilles Simon.

The night time belonged to No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No 12 Denis Shapovalov. They defeated Maxime Cressy and Soonwoo Kwon, respectively.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, US Open 2019

The surprises of the day

Once again, it was another day on the men’s side with few surprises. Only two seeds went down and neither one was a big favorite to advance deep into this tournament. No 24 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a bad loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. No 13 Cristian Garin and Mikhail Kukushkin went the distance. Garin did well to recover from a disastrous start, but with both men struggling physically it was Kukushkin who finally regained the upper hand in the end. The Kazakh recovered from a break down in the fifth set to triumph 6-2, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5.

The hard-fought battles of the day

There were only two five-setters on Wednesday. In addition to the Kuskushkin vs. Garin match that lasted three hours and 59 minutes, No 27 Borna Coric and Juan Ignacio Londero exceeded the four-hour mark. Coric battled back from two sets to one down, surviving 7-5, 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3 after four hours and 19 minutes.

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