Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil returns a shot to Roberto Bautista Agut, of Spain, during the third round of the US Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Okanagan athlete part of Canadian tennis history

Stunning five-set upset of 8th seed propels Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil into the fourth round at US Open

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil helped make Canadian tennis history Saturday at the US Open in New York.

Pospisil upset No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Argentina 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the third round to join fellow Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.

It’s the first time ever three Canadians have made it to the fourth round in singles play in a Grand Slam tournament.

Pospisil, fresh off an upset over countryman Milos Raonic in the second round, needed less than four hours to eliminate Bautista Agut.

Though much of the first set was played evenly between the two contrasting styles of tennis, Pospisil’s aggressive, net-attacking brand succeeded in giving him the break he needed in the final game of the set, setting him up for an early lead in the match.

Bautista Agut, however, is known to be one of the most consistent players on tour from the baseline and is oft overlooked as a serious contender at the biggest tournaments. He showed his class as a player in the next two sets, pummelling metronomic defensive shots from the back of the court to win the next two sets and put Pospisil on the brink of elimination.

Staring defeat in the face in the fourth set, Pospisil – following a quick visit from the trainer mid-way through the set – somehow managed to find a new gear. Serving at 3-3, the 30-year-old would win six of the next seven games, breaking serve early in the fifth with a lusciously delicate forehand drop-shot – and then once again at 4-2 in the final set with a stunning angled volley winner.

With ease, Pospisil served out the set, pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career at a Grand Slam and reached the final 16 at the US Open for the first time.

He’ll face Australian No. 21 seed Alex de Minaur for a place in the quarter-finals.

Later in the day, Auger-Aliassime took to the court against former junior rival Corentin Moutet, a player (and friend) that the Canadian has been playing since he was nine years old.

The match was a completely one-sided affair. Auger-Aliassime, feeling no hangover from his dominant win over Andy Murray in the second round, was at his aggressive best, dictating play against the southpaw Frenchman with his forehand and capitalizing on some uncharacteristic errors from Moutet throughout the first two sets, en route to a 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 victory.

Shapovalov rallied Friday night to beat Taylor Fritz in his third-round match.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tennis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Nicole Charlwood to run for Green Party

Charlwood was previously the Greens local campaign manager

Tanya Finley named Liberal candidate for Nelson-Creston

Finley is president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce

Terry Tiessen to run as Libertarian candidate in Nelson-Creston

Tiessen previously ran in the 2019 federal election

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read