* updated at 0:19 with opponent
New York (USA) – National number 1 Thiago Monteiro managed to take a set from former top 10 Karen Khachanov, but that wasn’t enough to hold the Russian’s usual style of very heavy balls, who almost always served very well. The southpaw from Ceará fell like this in the second round of the US Open, when he was overcome with the partials of 6/3, 6/3, 5/7 and 6/4.
Monteiro had never won a match in the main draw of the North American Grand Slam, but this time he passed very well over Slovakian Alex Molcan. Currently 67th in the ranking, he could inherit three positions at the end of the tournament, but he is still enrolled in the Seville challenger, to be played next week. He has just achieved his highest career ranking of 62nd.
Khachanov, meanwhile, has never reached the round of 16 of the US Open, having lost in the third round in 2018 and 2020. His opponent on Friday will be American southpaw Jack Draper, who stunned 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime by triple 6/4. Number 53 in the rankings at age 20, Draper disputes his third Grand Slam and first US Open.
In this Wednesday’s match, the Brazilian lost the service early, still in the third game, and ended the set with just one point obtained in the Russian serve, who got a second break to close the series, in a long game in which Monteiro avoided four set-points.
The second set was much more balanced, mainly because Monteiro managed to return better and squeezed Khachanov in at least two games. He also served more accurately until, in the eighth game, he saw a great performance from Khachanov, who broke from zero and closed right away.
Monteiro avoided two break-points in the opening serve of the third set and three more in the seventh, but he couldn’t stand the pressure and allowed Khachanov to serve for the game with 5/4. Then it was the Russian’s turn to mess up, allowing the Brazilian to live his best moment. He won three games in a row, took it to the fourth set and left the crowd excited.
The fourth set was full of hard shots and tight games, but the Brazilian made two incredible mistakes at the net, when he tried to just touch the ball. The first yielded the break in the fifth game and the other prevented the tie by 4/4. Again with 5/4 and serve, the experienced Russian didn’t hesitate any longer.