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US Open: Davidovich Fokina makes last 16, defeating Galan in great Colombian atmosphere

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina edged out Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday and will play Matteo Berrettini, the No 13 seed, in the next round

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the 2022 US Open in New York Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the 2022 US Open in New York Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina moved into the last 16 of the US Open by edging out Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Friday.

“He had all crowd with him and I knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Davidovich Fokina after this battle on a packed, yellow and noisy court No 17. “But after the first set I was mentally stronger. Physically I was doing very good. In the end of the second set, I got a little bit tense and he managed to win that set. I went to the bathroom to reset my mind.

“In the third and fourth set, I played very well,” continued the Spaniard. “I enjoyed every moment. I was focusing on every point. I didn’t care about the score. I’m happy for the win.”

Berrettini next

Davidovich Fokina, ranked No 39, will play Italian Matteo Berrettini, the No 13 seed, next.

“He’s one of the top [players], and for sure I will enjoy to play against him and to fight and to try to win the match,” said Davidovich Fokina. “We played once, and we practiced together the week before US Open.”

In fact, Davidovich Fokina won their only match, on clay, in 2021 at Monte-Carlo (7-5, 6-3).

This is the first time that Davidovich Fokina has won three matches in a major draw since his quarter-final at Roland-Garros in 2021 and his second fourth round at the US Open after 2020. He twice lost against Alexander Zverev.

“I’m stronger physically and mentally than two years ago. Nothing to compare.”

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

“But I’m stronger physically and mentally. Nothing to compare. Now I understand more the game. I’m different in how to recover after the match, how to start the match, how to manage the five sets.” In the previous rounds, the Spaniard won against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (6-3, 7-5, 6-3) and Hungarian Marton Fucsovics (7-6 (3), 5-7, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (3)).

This is also the end of a great summer for Galan, ranked No 94, who won the greatest match of his career when he edged out Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 4 seed, with an unreal score (6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5) and beat Australian Jordan Thompson (6-3, 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3). He won 13 matches with seven defeats since Wimbledon inclusive, where he also reached the third round. He will be No 74 in the ATP rankings on September12th.

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