US OPEN – What not to miss tonight: Caroline Garcia aims for the moon, Nick Kyrgios comes home

US OPEN – What not to miss tonight: Caroline Garcia aims for the moon, Nick Kyrgios comes home

The story of the day

It will become difficult to find the words for Caroline Garcia. Each passing match gives birth not only to a victory, but also to the constantly renewed affirmation of its authority. She had never beaten Alison Riske, her opponent in the round of 16? Not a problem. She had lost twice in two games against Coco Gauff ? Rebelote. The two Americans took two sets. With Garcia, in this US Open, it’s the house price.

U.S. Open

Beaten in the quarter, Kyrgios spends his nerves on his rackets, once again


In reality, these statistics are of no importance and do not weigh anything against the supercharged confidence of Bertrand Perret’s protege. We are no longer talking about the same player. “It has nothing to do“, also underlined Coco Gauff after the match, confirming that she had not recognized Caroline Garcia, whom she had easily dominated in Doha at the start of the year.

Another show of force: How Garcia smothered Gauff

Confidence works miracles in tennis and that of the Lyonnaise is at its zenith, but it even seems to us that this is something else: certainties. Caroline Garcia does not overplay. We are not talking about a euphoric player, on her little cloud. Everything is under control. Built. She knows where she wants to go and, more importantly, she seems to know how. “Flying Caro” has often mentioned this “guideline” set with his team lately. After four years of getting lost on side roads, at best, even dead ends, it is a highway that she has drawn in front of her. And there, you have to hold on to follow the racing car.

What impresses, if not surprising, since this stage has also been crossed, is its ability to manage all contexts. Tuesday evening, she was on the Arthur-Ashe court, facing the new American tennis star. A player nine years her junior, but already a Grand Slam finalist when she was aiming for her first half. But she had nothing to do with all that. Because, driven by her certainties, Caroline Garcia dictates her own destiny. She is the one writing the screenplay. We call that a boss.

Can she retain this power of decision until the end? The difficulty will continue to increase. Ons Jabeur, in the semi-finals, is one hell of a client. After the Roland finalist, here is the Wimbledon finalist. And, of course, the Frenchwoman never beat her. It was even already his pet peeve among the juniors. But all that was before. And before, it was not Caroline Garcia. Not this one, anyway.

A huge point, a last monstrous forehand: Garcia had set the tone for the start

We liked

Karen Khachanov. The Russian did not steal his victory. Constantly ahead of the score, he was overall more consistent than a sometimes brilliant, sometimes erratic Nick Kyrgios. If this quarter-final was played with few things, over the duration of the five sets, the regularity paid off and it is not illogical. Above all, Khachanov always knew how to keep a cool head.

Like at the end of the third set, where he blacked out a set point on a school forehand. He could have dipped, but two games later he broke at 6-5 to regain control. And what about his break points saved in the last act, while Kyrgios did not let go? In the “face”, “KK” has never been so strong in a match with such a massive stake.

Khachanov tamed Scarecrow Kyrgios: Highlights from their quarter-final

The end of Caroline Garcia’s match. She too can boast of having been solid under the head. The combination of several factors (facing an American, the challenge of a major first half, the Arthur-Ashe, the night session) could, we almost want to say, should have made the Lyonnaise nervous. She probably was, but she got past it. “Being stressed is normal“, she admitted.

But she always kept control. This was especially true in the second set. His start to the match had been perfect but Coco Gauff was not there. But it was quite different in the second half of the match. The way Garcia, after breaking at the start of the second set, held her face-off until the end without ever panicking, even when the American led 0-30 to 4-3, says a lot on his psychological dispositions at the time. It’s very strong.

Garcia: “The energy was crazy, my head is buzzing”

We didn’t like

The Ruud-Berrettini game. A poster between two Grand Slam finalists gave hope for something other than this quarter-final forgettable between Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini. The Norwegian obviously has nothing to do with it. He played his match and he did it very well to win in three sets (6-1, 6-4, 7-6) But it was complicated to be passionate about this long one-sided meeting as Berrettini, non-existent for a set and a half, was next to his tennis. The rest was a little more addictive, but this match will not be in the Top 10 of the fortnight…

A crazy first set, a mental third for Ruud: the best moments

The “shyness” of Ajla Tomljanovic. Terrific faller of Serena Williams, Ajla Tomljanovic played her second quarter-final in a row on Tuesday after that of Wimbledon, but the flame went out for the Australian player, beaten in two sets (6-4, 7-6) by Ons Jaber. She sometimes gave the feeling of being satisfied to have arrived there. She did not deliver a non-match, she could even have picked up a set everywhere since she led 5-3 in the second set, but she lacked an extra soul. Whoever wanted this match the most went to get it.

Dominating before finishing mentally, Jabeur qualifies for the semi-finals: the best moments

Three stats to remember

0. Matteo Berrettini definitely can’t do it against the Top 10 players in the Grand Slam. Of the eight confrontations of this type in Major, he has never won. The Italian completely missed out on his quarter-final against Casper Ruud. The finding is all the more disturbing since, excluding Grand Slams, he has won only 3 of his last 18 matches against the world’s top 10, including none of the last 11. The one we saw well placed to win the Grand Slam after his final at Wimbledon last year, slowed down this year by injuries or the Covid, has not, moreover, during this series, beaten any other top 10 that… Dominic Thiem.

A tie-break qualification: relive Ruud’s match point against Berrettini

5. After her victory against Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia continues her mad ascent in the standings. At the Race (ranking only since January 1), the Frenchwoman climbs virtually to 5th place, just behind her evening victim. The first three (Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula) are also still in the table for this US Open. In the reference classification, Garcia passes 10th. Only Karolina Pliskova can still prevent her from returning to the Top 10 next Monday if the Czech wins the tournament.

47%. Nick Kyrgios’ success rate on his second serve against Karen Khachanov. If his first ball sparkled as always (31 aces, 79% of points won), the Australian was fragile on his second. In this area, Khachanov did much better: 64%. Fortunately for the Russian, because he spent far fewer firsts than his opponent (60% against 72%).

The statement: Ons Jabeur

With Caroline, we have known each other since juniors. Honestly, I’m glad she’s back where she belongs. Then she works with Bertrand (Bertrand Perret, former coach of the Tunisian and now with Caroline Garcia, editor’s note). So I’m happy for them, in general. I know she has a very aggressive game. I will try to play my game. I will try to be myself.

Just to know…

When will we see Nick Kyrgios on a court again? In 2022, it is unlikely.

Craziest, what would it be? Casper Ruud world number one having won only ATP 250, or Carlos N°1 when he was beyond 30th place at the start of the season?

And if not, Karen Khachanov in the semi-finals, someone had it ten days ago?

Having the former coach of your next opponent as your coach isn’t a bad thing a priori, is it? #Garcia #Jabeur

The match not to be missed on Wednesday: Alcaraz – Sinner

Between them, they are younger than Roger Federer or Serena Williams. 40 years. 21 for Jannick Sinner. 19 for Carlos Alcaraz. The budding rivalry between the Italian and the Spaniard could well be one of the most defining of the decade to come. They have already faced each other three times in less than a year. Alcaraz took the first match, at Bercy last fall, but Sinner won their two most recent duels this summer: on the grass of Wimbledon then on land in Umag. But on hard exterior, it will be a great first.

Talent, power and tension, this first Alcaraz – Sinner did not disappoint: the summary

Both come out of a five-set fight, respectively against Ivashka for Sinner and Cilic for Alcaraz. The youth may not feel tired, but Alcaraz still finished their match in the middle of the night. The physical will therefore not be a neutral element, but the psychological dimension will have to be closely scrutinized. Because the quarter-finals are currently a small glass ceiling for the two young stars of the circuit. Sinner stalled three times, losing, it is true, against Nadal (Roland-Garros 2020), Tsitsipas (Australian Open 2022) and Djokovic (Wimbledon 2022). Not painters.

For his part, the pupil of Juan Carlos Ferrero came up against Auger-Aliassime last year in New York, and against Zverev at Roland-Garros this year. One of the two will therefore turn a corner on Wednesday. Sinner’s two victories, all fresh in the minds of the two men, can they weigh? Perhaps, but they should not be over-interpreted. Umag is a 250 and Alcaraz still lacks turf credentials. But it can’t hurt Sinner to leave with that thought in the back of his mind. In any case, this match can have the value of a founding act. And Flushing can live a memorable evening.

Alcaraz and Cilic electrified NY until 2:30 a.m.: the highlights of a spectacular game

U.S. Open

Garcia, the crazy numbers of his career


U.S. Open

More spectacular than Kyrgios, Garcia also flies over the Top 5: Tuesday’s best points


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