No. 13 seed Mikhail Kukushkin started off slow, but by that point, it was too late. Facing the tall task of playing No. 1 seed John Isner, by the time Kukushkin woke up 18 minutes into the match, he already trailed a set.
While the native of Kazakhstan played a solid second set, he couldn't muster up a comeback. Isner looked at ease under the lights in his backyard, posting a routine 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory.
As usual, the 6-10 Isner blasted 17 aces and won 83 percent of points on his serve. His returning statistics, however are more telling for his chances this week and in the US Open. He won 40 percent of return points- 57 percent in the first set- and notched two service breaks.
"I need to play more like I did in that first set... It's the consistency. I served great and put a lot of pressure on my opponent. I got a little bit away from that in the second set."
Isner will play No. 7 seed Lukas Rosol tomorrow.
As No. 2 seed Kevin Anderson's forehand sailed long, Sam Querrey looked at his box and gave a lengthy fist pump. The 6-6 American pulled off his first Top 20 in 2014, by a count of 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Once ranked as high as No. 17 in the world, Querrey's ranking has dropped to No. 56 due to injuries and inconsistent play. But today, the 26-year-old played like his old self. Querrey only lost six points on his first serve all match- zero in the second set- and made his first serve at a 69 percent clip. He also showcased steadiness on his punishing forehand, which posed problems for Anderson, who plays a similar, aggressive style.
Anderson's double fault in the first set tiebreaker was all Querrey needed to take the first set, he said, "When you play a guy like him, it's just a point here or there."
With a 5-4 second set lead, he converted the only break of the match on the 6-8 Anderson's big serve. After losing close matches to Top 20 players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori earlier in the summer, Querrey declared this win, "definitely Top 3 of the year" and added that, "It feels good to beat one of those top guys. It gives me some confidence that next time I play a [top player] I will come out on the winning side." As Anderson's forehand landed long, the even-keeled Querrey had every reason to be excited.
Querrey moves on to play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the quarterfinals.
After a back-and-forth battle, No. 5 seed Garcia-Lopez outlasted the No. 11 seed Donald Young 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (6). The southpaw broke down 5-4 in the third set, saving three match points, including a magnificent play where the American leaped for an overhead winner off of a powerful Garcia-Lopez overhead.
However, Young double faulted with a match point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker, "I was in between where I wanted to go. I could go bread and butter out wide or change it up and go down the tee. And the second serve I just rushed it a bit." While visibly upset about the defeat, Young was eager to return to the court for his doubles match.
Jerzy Janowicz advanced to the quarterfinals over the No. 12 seed Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 6-8 Pole relied on a huge serve and big forehand, and frequently mixed in drop shots to keep the Frenchman on his toes. The 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist has become a fan favorite here because of his powerful game and lively personality on the court, "Today was really cool. People were cheering me on a lot. I was talking to the spectators. I like that kind of crowd."
Janowicz will play the red-hot David Goffin, who dropped No. 15 seed Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The speedy Belgian is in the midst of a 25 match win streak, including three Challenger titles and an ATP title in Kitzbuhel, Austria. Against the veteran lefty, the 23-year-old Goffin controlled the baseline and had incredible feel for the ball, "After 25 matches, I have a lot of confidence. I feel like I can't lose. But I try to play every match like it is the first one."