2019 US Open Notebook: Rafael Nadal wins, Naomi Osaka ousted on Day 8

Two top names on the schedule came out of a rainy Labor Day at the 2019 US Open with different results. On the women’s side, world No. 1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka bowed out in the Round of 16, while three-time champion Rafael Nadal, seeded No. 2, took one step closer to a potential clash in the final against rival Roger Federer.

Nadal’s ninth: The Spaniard needed four sets to beat 2014 Marin Cilic6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium to book his ninth quarterfinal in Flushing Meadows. That second set was the first time Nadal dropped a set since the start of the tournament. Next up is 20th seed Diego Schwartzman, a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 winner over sixth seed Alexander Zverev.

La Monf on display: Frenchman Gael Monfils, who turned 33 on Sunday, reached the US Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2016 after beating Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The No. 13 seed is scheduled to face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini for a place in the semifinals. Berrettini, who defeated Russian Andrey Rublev6-1, 6-4, 7-6, has had a breakout year so far. In addition to reaching his first major quarterfinal, he’s already lifted two titles in 2019 at the Hungarian Open (clay) and the Stuttgart Open (grass).

Osaka ousted: The title defense for 2018 champion Naomi Osaka ended in the Round of 16 and in the hands of Switzerland’s Belinda BencicThis is Bencic’s third win against Osaka this season, and her first time back in the US Open quarterfinals since she reached the last eight in 2014 as a 17-year-old. Bencic’s next opponent is No. 23 Donna Vekica 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 winner over No. 25 Julia Goerges.

Andreescu rolls on: Bianca Andreescu continues her deepest run at a Slam after defeating 23-year-old American Taylor Townsend, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, to close out the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Canadian, seeded No. 15, will play Elise Mertens of Belgium for a place in the semifinals. Mertens, the 25th seed, ended the dream run of New Jersey’s Kristie Ahn, 6-1, 6-1.

September 2, 2019 - Command Sergeant Major Jack Love, Command Sergeant at the United States Military, Taylor Townsend, Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams, Superintendent of the United States Military, Major Heba Bullock, and Bianca Andreescu pose for a photo at the 2019 US Open. (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA)

Command Sergeant Major Jack Love, Command Sergeant at the United States Military, Taylor Townsend, Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams, Superintendent of the United States Military, Major Heba Bullock, and Bianca Andreescu pose for a photo at the 2019 US Open. Photo by Jennifer Potthesier/USTA

 

Military Appreciation Day rebranded: Beginning this year, the Open’s annual Military Appreciation Day will officially be called Lt. Joe Hunt US Open Military Appreciation Day, named for Lt. Joe Hunt, the 1943 U.S. National champion who lost his life in the service of his country. Hunt won the U.S. Nationals in 1943 while on leave from the Navy. Less than two years later, Hunt was killed when his Navy fighter plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in February 1945.

Match of the Day:  In the absence of 2009 champion and crowd favorite Juan Martin del Potro, it was up to another Argentine, Diego Schwartzman, to step up and entertain the Labor Day crowds inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. And he did not dissapoint: the 5-foot-7 Schwartzman scored the upset over the lanky 6-foot-6 Zverev, dealing yet another dissapointing loss to the Slam-starved German.

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