By BIRRED GURUWALU
Australian Open and US Open finalist Carlos Berlocq beat Spanish veteran Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (4), 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal clash with teenager Alex de Minaur on Friday.
Berlocq, 33, broke Carreno Busta’s serve in the first game of the match at the US Open but his compatriot battled back to level at 5-5 in the first set.
The world No.49 clinched the tiebreak when the Spaniard sent a shot long.
The Argentine lost his serve twice in the second set but recovered and broke Carreno Busta’s in the eighth game to clinch the set in his favor.
In the third set, Berlocq improved his game and his timing and sealed victory on his first match point when Carreno Busta netted a forehand.
As Australia’s Alex de Minaur prepared to meet American Jack Sock in the last eight, 16-year-old compatriot Carlos Alcaraz celebrated reaching the quarterfinals at his first Grand Slam at the US Open.
Alcaraz, ranked 676, needed two hours and 23 minutes to see off Russian 32nd seed Daniil Medvedev in his maiden appearance in the last 16.
The Australian teenager won 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, defeating Medvedev and joining the likes of Tennys Sandgren, Frances Tiafoe and Denis Kudla in the last eight.
Medvedev started well, breaking Alcaraz’s serve in the first game. But the Australian took advantage of Medvedev’s double fault to take the first set 7-5.
Alcaraz broke Medvedev once more to start the second set but could not take advantage of this, falling to the Court 17 court winner after one hour and 37 minutes.
Earlier on Friday, Unseeded Kyrgios began his US Open campaign with a straight sets win over fourth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, firing 33 winners on his way to victory in just over an hour.
The Australian world No.22, who moved to a first career ATP quarterfinal here, saw off the 2011 US Open champion, 6-3, 6-2, in the first encounter between the pair on hard courts.
The 22-year-old leads two-sets-to-one in his career clashes with Thiem. Kyrgios has also seen success against top-five seeded players having been defeated by the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev.
Kyrgios had been brought in on a wildcard to face the reigning Wimbledon champion at Flushing Meadows but the Australian moved through with relative ease.
Earlier in the day, Brazilian Andre Sa earned a spot in the second round when he won through to the last 32 of the men’s singles.
The world No.63 produced a strong first set against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, before the 23-year-old Spaniard rallied to force a tiebreak in the second.
Basilashvili has now failed to win a match at any Grand Slam for two years, while Sa registered his second win over a top-20 opponent of 2017.