Emma Raducanu, Alexander Zverev, Karolína Plískova and Novak Djokovic are all in action in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday. First up on Ashe is Brit sensation Raducanu, who takes on Olympic champion Belinda Bencic at 17:00 UK time. They are followed by fourth seed Zverev, who faces the unseeded South African Lloyd Harris.
The evening session – not before 12am UK time – opens with Maria Sakkari, a Roland Garros semi-finalist in June and seeded 17th, taking on 2016 finalist Plískova. Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini are last on with the big-hitting Italian a substantial roadblock to the Serb’s hopes of claiming his 21st Grand Slam title.
Top Match – Djokovic v Berrettini
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The top match of the day is – befittingly – last on Ashe. Following his Olympic disappointment, Djokovic has refocused his energies on a calendar Grand Slam. The Serb superstar is aiming for his fourth title at Flushing Meadows after successes in 2011, 2015 and 2018, and faces off against Berrettini, a semi-finalist in New York in 2019.
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The Italian will offer stiff opposition, with Djokovic lavishing Berrettini with praise after the Serb’s fourth-round win against Jenson Brooksby.
“[He’s the] hammer of tennis. Next to [Juan Martin] del Potro, probably the hardest hitter of the serve and forehand. He’s got the lethal serve-plus-one game. He’s already established as a top player.
“Without a doubt, he played a semi-final here a couple of years ago, the final in Wimbledon. That was a tough four-setter. If he serves well, which is his biggest weapon, he’s tough. He’s tough on any surface to play against.
“I’ve had some really close matches with him at [Roland Garros] and Wimbledon recently. We’re going to play the third Grand Slam in a row against each other. Hopefully the result will be the same as the previous two.”
Potential Upset – Raducanu v Bencic
“Watching her play, she is so calm, she moves so well, she just loves being out there,” he said. “I really have a hard time finding a weakness in her game. I don’t think she has one. She is an amazing player. Raducanu moves as well as any player out there, and it doesn’t look like you can make her tired either.”
Raducanu has beaten Stefanie Vogele, Zhang Shuai, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Rogers on her way to the last eight. Bencic – a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2019 – is a step up in calibre, but the Brit, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon, is yet to drop a set in New York.
Brit & Next-Gen Watch – Raducanu
The aforementioned Raducanu. The 18-year-old has taken tennis by storm since her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon. She was ranked a career-high 338 then. Should she exit Flushing Meadows at the quarter-final stage she will move up to 74 in the rankings, while a semi-final berth will secure her a ranking of 51. Remarkable. She is the one to watch.
Order of Play, Wednesday, September 8 – From 5PM UK Time
Arthur Ashe Stadium (5pm)
- E. Raducanu (GBR) v B. Bencic (SUI) 
- A. Zverev (GER)  v L. Harris (RSA)
Not before 12am
- K. Pliskova (CZE)  v M. Sakkari (GRE) 
- N. Djokovic (SRB)  v M. Berrettini (ITA) 
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Source: Euro Sports