Vasek Pospisil stuns Bautista Agut and faces off against Alex de Minaur, a five-set survivor | ATP Tower


Vasek Pospisil added a second surprise to his US Open tally on Saturday, recovering from straight sets to one to shock Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Louis Armstrong Stadium.The world No.94 hit 70 winners and came to the net 45 times to break through Bautista Agut’s defense and reach the round of 16 in New York for the first time. The victory comes five years after Pospisil’s first run in the fourth round of a major championship, when he qualified for the quarter-finals at Wimbledon 2015.

« [I am] delighted. I played really good tennis throughout, ”said Pospisil. “I had a little physical dive in the second and third sets and then the shadow came on which really helped me… I played solid throughout. I was very relaxed, going for my shots and sticking to my game plan, my strengths. It worked very well.

Pospisil has now beaten two of the fittest players since resuming the ATP Tour at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Two days ago, the 30-year-old came from a set to defeat Western and Southern Open finalist Milos Raonic in four sets.

“I have worked very hard and I am delighted to be here. Anytime you can have such victories against the best players in the sport, it’s huge, ”said Pospisil. “To do it on a big stage like this and do the fourth round of a Grand Slam is really a big deal. “

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Pospisil started his fourth ATP Head2Head game against Bautista Agut without a win to his name, but the Canadian increased his game in the final two sets to defeat his opponent. Pospisil improves to 11-5 this year, building on a strong start to the season ahead of the ATP Tour suspension in March. More than five years after reaching his first ATP Tour final in 2014, Pospisil qualified for his second ATP Tour championship match at the Open Sud de France in February.

Pospisil will face Alex de Minaur for a place in the quarterfinals. De Minaur also rallied two sets to one to defeat 11th seed Karen Khachanov 6-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. The Australian broke serve six times to secure his place in the fourth round of the US Open for the second year in a row after three hours and two minutes.

De Minaur entered the US Open on a four-game losing streak, seeking his first victory since the inaugural ATP Cup in January. But the Australian No.1 fought through three contests to equal his best Grand Slam result. Ahead of his win over Khachanov, the 21-year-old beat 2013 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet in four sets.

De Minaur is undefeated in two ATP Head2Head matches against Pospisil. The Sydney native picked up hard court wins over Pospisil in 2018 at the Citi Open in Washington, DC and the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

« [Alex is] a very tough guy. A very tough opponent, very fit and he can run all day, much like Roberto, ”said Pospisil. “I’m just going to go there and play my game and see how it goes.”

Alex de Minaur reached the fourth round of the US Open for the second year in a row. “/>

After nine games without a break point, Bautista Agut attacked Pospisil’s forehand to survive two set points at 4-5. But the Canadian, who won 10 of 13 net points in the first set, quickly created another opportunity in his next second leg. Pospisil tore up his three straight forehand winners to break to 5-6 and snatch the first set.

Pospisil survived seven break points in his first service game of the second set, before Bautista Agut returned to the game. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist attacked his opponent’s backhand and headed for the net to earn his first break of the game and quickly doubled his advantage en route to the second set.

Bautista Agut got off to a quick start in the third set, playing steadily from behind the court to extract mistakes in the opener. The world No.11 held onto his advantage with confidence on serve, scoring 87% of the points behind his first delivery to rule out a set from the win.

Pospisil notched 20 winners in the fourth set, including a winning backhand return to 4-3, to force a decider and head to the finish line. The Canadian climbed onto the pitch at crucial moments in the fifth set and showed nerve at the net to earn two breaks of serve. Serving for the game at 5-2, Pospisil converted his first match point with a precise backhand crossing the line.

“On the break point in the fourth set, I played aggressively. I played to win… No doubts and no regrets, ”said Pospisil. “If you do it, you do it. If you don’t, at least you did. It’s just the mindset I had until the end and today it worked. I played really well and I’m happy to be in the fourth round.


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