Canada’s Vasek Pospisil falls to Alex de Minaur at U.S. Open

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil says he wasn’t feeling his best when he faced No. 21 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday.

The Vancouver player, ranked 94th, said he was battling quadricep and abdominal strains when he failed to convert on four set points in the first set en route to a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2 loss.

“I just tried to manage it but it impacted my serve the most out of all my strokes, so that was not ideal,” he told reporters after the match. “But it is what it is … It’s a Grand Slam so it’s very physical and at some point your body’s going to take a beating and I think it definitely affected me a little bit today.”

De Minaur broke Pospisil twice in the second set and rolled to victory, sending the 21 year old to his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

WATCH | Pospisil eliminated in 4th round at U.S. Open:

Australia’s Alex de Minaur defeated Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2 in their fourth round match at the U.S. Open. 1:39

De Minaur’s speed is difficult to keep up with, Pospisil said.

“What’s most impressive is that he never breaths,” he said with a laugh. “He runs side to side and he’s never out of breath. He defies the laws of biology, I guess. It’s pretty impressive but he’s definitely a freak of nature.”

Pospisil, 30, was one of a record three Canadian men to reach the round of 16 at the U.S. Open.

“It’s a great time for tennis in Canada right now, for sure. It’s cool to be part of it,” Pospisil said.

No. 12 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., beat No. 7 seed David Goffin in four sets on Sunday night to set up a quarter-final match against No. 20 seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Tuesday.

Carreno Busta advanced when the top-ranked Novak Djokovic was kicked out of their match for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball after dropping a game.

Shapovalov is the first Canadian man in history to reach the U.S. Open quarter-finals. Previously, Canadian men were 0-12 in the round of 16.

Auger-Aliassime in action

No. 15 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal is scheduled to face No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria in a fourth-round match later Monday.

The 30-year-old Pospisil upset No. 25 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain before his surprise run came to an end against de Minaur.

It has been a promising last 12 months for Pospisil, who missed the first half of last year after back surgery. He helped Canada reach the Davis Cup final late last year and has an 11-6 record this year, including a runner-up showing at a tournament in Montpellier, France.

Pospisil is projected to move up to No. 72 in the rankings next week. He reached a career high of No. 25 in 2014 when Pospisil reached his first and only Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.

Serena Williams advances to quarters

Serena Williams is into the quarter-finals at the U.S. Open for a 12th consecutive appearance.

It wasn’t easy, though.

Williams needed to come from behind in the third set before taking another step closer to Grand Slam title No. 24 by edging Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

WATCH | Serena Williams tops Sakkari in rematch:

Serena Williams came from behind to defeat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3. 1:18

This was a rematch from less than two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open. That one was won by Sakkari, also in three sets, when Williams dealt with leg cramps and faded down the stretch.

This time, Williams was two points from victory at 6-all in the tiebreaker but dropped the next two points and the set. Then she trailed 2-0 in the third before turning things around.

Williams, who turns 39 in less than three weeks, will face an unseeded opponent — either Alize Cornet or Tsvetana Pironkova — for a semifinal berth.

The American has won six of her 23 major singles championships at the U.S. Open.

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