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US Open Day 4 men’s results: Russians on a roll, Pospisil knocks out Raonic

Russians Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are through to the third round of the US Open. Alex de Minaur joined them there with a four-set win over Richard Gasquet.

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The matches that ended as we anticipated

Daniil Medvedev is rolling merrily along at the US Open. The No 3 seed made it all the way to the final last year (lost to Rafael Nadal in five sets) and he is a trendy pick to do the same in 2020. Medvedev is looking good so far, as he followed up a first-round rout of Federico Delbonis by making routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 work of Christopher O’Connell on Thursday evening.

Medvedev may be the main Russian on tour these days, but don’t forget about No 10 seed Andrey Rublev and No 11 Karen Khachanov. Rublev advanced at the US Open Thursday with a straight-set win over Gregoire Barrere, while Khachanov had an even easier time of things with compatriot Andrey Kuznetsov.

Joining the Russians in the third round of the season’s second slam are No 8 Roberto Bautista Agut and No 30 Casper Ruud. Bautista Agut held off Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Ruud thrashed Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

No 2 Dominic Thiem struggled at the Cincinnati Masters, but he delivered an encouraging performance on Thursday. The Austrian erased Sumit Nagal 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in less than two hours.

No 6 Matteo Berrettini, a semi-finalist last year, is up to his usual tricks at Flushing Meadows. The Italian eased past Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6) and will go up against Ruud on Saturday.

No 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime took advantage of a fatigued Andy Murray to cap off the day with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 blowout.

The surprises of the day

In an all-Canadian showdown, Vasek Pospisil stunned Cincinnati runner-up Milos Raonic 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3. The No 25 seed cracked 29 aces but double-faulted 11 times. Pospisil just about kept up with his heavily favored countryman in the ace count, finishing with 20. Next up for Pospisil on Saturday is Bautista Agut.

J.J. Wolf was favoured to beat Roberto Carballes Baena on Thursday (and he did, easily), but the fact that Wolf is in the third round is a huge surprise. The 21-year-old American is ranked 138th in the world and he had never played in the main draw of a Grand Slam prior to this week.

The hard-fought battles of the day

Of the early afternoon matches, it was no surprise that No 21 Alex de Minaur vs. Richard Gasquet proved to be the most entertaining. Gasquet saved three consecutive match points from 6-3 down in the third set to force a fourth, but de Minaur eventually prevailed 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5 after three hours and two minutes.

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No 31 Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, won by a similar scoreline (6-3, 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-5) against Norbert Gombos.

The day was not without five-setters. Frances Tiafoe won a fifth set for the first time in his career, overcoming John Millman 7-6(6), 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 57 minutes. Tiafoe had lost 14 deciding sets in a row prior to this victory. An even longer battle saw Marton Fucsovics outlasted Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in four hours and 50 minutes.

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