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US Open 2016: 5 unseeded players who have stood out so far

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands after Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during his fourth round Men's Singles match on Day Seven of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Edmund beat two top 20 players en route to the fourth round
Neelabhra Roy

The US Open is now at the business end, with the fourth round of the singles tournament coming to an exciting end with Ana Konjuh’s shock win over World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who is yet to clear the fourth round of the US Open after failing to reach the quarters on four previous occasions.

So far a number of upsets have been scripted thanks to some scintillating performances by a couple of the unseeded players.

With hours to spare before the quarterfinals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, let’s take a look at five unseeded players who have really stood out so far in the competition.


#5 Kyle Edmund

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Kyle Edmund of Great Britain hits a return in his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Seven of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kyle Edmund fell to World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the fourth round

Pitted in a difficult draw of four quality players in Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet, John Isner and Mikhail Youzhny, 84th ranked Kyle Edmund was considered nothing but an outsider.

He was expected to lose in his opening match against 2013 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet, however, Edmund surprised the crowd at Flushing Meadows by beating the 13th seeded Frenchman in straight sets.

Edmund then beat local boy Ernesto Escobedo in straight sets to advance to the third round of a Grand Slam for the very first time in his career.

In the third round, he was up against 2011 quarter-finalist John Isner and produced another major upset by beating him in four sets. However, his journey came to an unsurprising end in the fourth round as he was beaten by World No.1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

However, the 21-year old Briton produced a very brave performance in the competition and will surely be one to look out for in the future.

#4 Juan Martin Del Potro

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina returns a shot to against Dominic Thiem of Austria during his fourth round Men's Singles match on Day Eight of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The 2009 Champion hasn’t dropped a set en route to the quarter-finals

Very few players have the capability to bounce back strongly from an injury but the 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro has done this twice, after previously being out of action in 2010 owing to a wrist injury.

After a silver medal performance at the Rio Olympics where he beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, ‘Delpo’ has had a brilliant US Open so far.

In the first round, Del Potro beat compatriot Diego Schwartzman in straight sets before beating the highest ranked American Steve Johnson in similar fashion to set up a third round encounter against David Ferrer.

What was expected to be a close contest at the end of the first set, soon turned out to be a one-sided affair as Del Potro’s offensive game eventually got the better of the 11th seeded Spaniard in straight sets. He next faced Roland Garros semifinalist Dominic Thiem and was looking in command before the Austrian retired during the second set owing to an injury concern in his right knee.

Del Potro will now face two-time semi-finalist Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, whom he beat a couple of months back at Wimbledon. In current form, there is a very good chance that he might make it to the semi-finals of the US Open, for the first time since his victorious 2009 campaign.

#3 Ana Konjuh

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Ana Konjuh of Croatia returns a shot to Varvara Lepchenko of the United States during her third round Women's Singles match on Day Six of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Croatian teenager has produced one of the upsets of the tournament by defeating fourth-seeded Aga Radwanska in the fourth round

A number of women’s unseeded players have put in excellent performances in the tournament so far. One of them is 18-year old Croat Ana Konjuh. Ranked 92nd in the world, the 2013 Junior Champion was expected to be ousted in the first round by rising star Kiki Bertens.

After winning the first set, Bertens bounced back strongly by winning the second set, but the Croatian teenager held her nerve and took the third set to advance to the second round. She beat another higher ranked opponent in Japanese Kurumi Nara to set up a third round clash against Varvara Lepchenko.

Konjuh faced a similar scenario as in her first round clash with Bertens, as she won the first set but lost the second set. However, as in the first round, Konjuh kept her composure and won the match to set up an encounter with World No.4 Aga Radwanska.

Konjuh then produced one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by beating the Pole in straight sets.

Konjuh will now take on an in-form Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals.

#2 Caroline Wozniacki

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates her win over Madison Keys of the United States during her fourth round Women's Singles match on Day Seven of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Former World No.1 will be a player to look out for in the quarter-finals

On April 20th, 2009 a 23-year old Russian, Dinara Safina was ranked the new World No.1 and was only the second player to rank No.1 without winning a Grand Slam.

Caroline Wozniacki is another player who was World No.1 for quite some time but hadn’t won a Grand Slam title. She too had a dip in form but came back strong in 2014 before going through another decline in 2015.

Prior to the US Open, Wozniacki was ranked 51st in the world and was not expected to clear the second round as she would be up against a resurging Svetlana Kuznetsova. After surviving a scare from qualifier Taylor Townsend in the opening round, Wozniacki stunned 2004 Champion Kuznetsova in straight sets to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since last year’s Wimbledon.

After beating Romanian Monica Niculescu in the third round, Wozniacki will now face a resilient Madison Keys, who was coming at the back of a splendid comeback against Japan's Naomi Osaka.

Wozniacki scripted another major upset (in terms of rankings) by beating Keys in straight sets.

#1 Anastasija Sevastova

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Anastasija Sevastova of Lativa returns a shot to Johanna Konta of the United Kingdom during her fourth round Women's Singles match on Day Seven of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Latvian has been a giant killer at the US Open so far with all of her wins coming against higher ranked opponents

The 26-year old Latvian returned to professional tennis only last year after taking a five-year hiatus from the sport owing to injuries and illness in 2010. Sevastova has perhaps been the biggest giant killer of the tournament so far with her resilient performances in the tournament.

The World No. 48 had an easy outing in her opening encounter against Anna Karolina Schmeidlova whom she beat in straight sets to set up a second round clash against French Open Champion Garbine Muguruza.

Sevastova produced the biggest upset of the Women’s tournament by beating the third seeded Spaniard in straight sets. In the third round, she beat 2009 US Open quarter-finalist Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets to set up a meeting with Australian Open semi-finalist and World No. 13 Johanna Konta in the fourth round.

Sevastova beat Konta in what was another straight sets win for the Latvian. She will now take on former World No.1 and two-time US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals.

Sevastova is one of only three remaining female players who haven’t dropped a set in the tournament so far, and with her incredible form, she will pose a huge threat to Wozniacki.

Edited by Staff Editor

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