American sixth seed Coco Gauff bolstered her hopes of securing a maiden grand slam title as she enjoyed a stress-free 6-0, 6-2 win over Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday to reach the US Open semi-finals.
Gauff, whose lead-up to the US Open included hardcourt titles in Washington and Cincinnati, converted six of her seven break points and dropped serve just once during the 67-minute match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Ostapenko entered the match full of confidence having upset world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the previous round but against Gauff the misfiring Latvian 20th seed could not find her range and delivered an error-filled performance.
On Monday, the women’s side of the draw was blown wide open by upsets that saw contenders Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula join Swiatek on the exit route.
World No. 1 and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz began the second week of the season’s final grand slam flashing a big smile and superb form as he eased past Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 and into the last eight.
The Spaniard was joined by third seed and 2021 winner Daniil Medvedev, eighth seed Andrey Rublev and 12th seed Alexander Zverev.
After US third seed Jessica Pegula was swept aside by compatriot and 2017 finalist Madison Keys, Tunisia’s ‘Minister of Happiness’ Jabeur was left a forlorn figure after falling 6-2, 6-4 to China’s Qinwen Zheng.
Jabeur had returned to Flushing Meadows bidding to become the first Arab and African woman to win a major and claim the grand slam title that was denied her at the last two Wimbledon finals and last year’s US Open.
But a respiratory illness has left her struggling to catch her breath, but she bravely battled before simply running out of puff.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka restored some order at the end of the day with a clinical 6-1, 6-3 win over Russian 13th seed Daria Kasatkina.
Sabalenka, who will bump Swiatek from top spot in the rankings when they are updated on September 11, played like a world No. 1, needing only 28 minutes to wrap up the opening set and strolling off Arthur Ashe to applause in just over an hour.
Russians Medvedev and Rublev both moved on with workmanlike four-set wins.
After two late-night matches, Medvedev finally finished work ‘early’ on Monday, beating Australian Alex de Minaur 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 while Rublev dispatched the last Briton, Jack Draper, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The last match on Arthur Ashe on Monday featured sixth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner and 12th-seeded German Alexander Zverev, which became the late-night thriller everyone had been predicting.
Played in sweltering conditions, the nearly five-hour marathon turned into a battle of wills as well as skills, with both players battling cramp as well as each other.
In the end it was Zverev, the 2020 finalist, who was able to dig just a little bit deeper to claim a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win.
US Open organisers said they ejected a fan from Arthur Ashe Stadium early on Tuesday after Zverev complained the man had used “the most famous Hitler phrase there is” during his match.