Run­ning out of gas, Nadal falls in 5 sets

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Howard Fendrich

NEW YORK — Rafael Nadal kept mak­ing a stand, kept com­ing back, kept show­ing he would not de­part qui­etly from this U.S. Open. Fac­ing a much younger, much less ac­com­plished op­po­nent, Nadal twice erased a set deficit. Then he staved off a trio of match points.

And then, more than four hours into the tough­est test he has put his left wrist through since re­turn­ing from in­jury, Nadal fal­tered. He missed a short fore­hand, push­ing it into the net. Nadal cov­ered his eyes with both hands. One point later, it was over.

The No. 4-seeded Nadal was up­set in the U.S. Open’s fourth round by 24th-seeded Lu­cas Pouille of France 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6) on Sun­day, pro­long­ing the 14time Grand Slam ti­tle win­ner’s quar­ter­fi­nal drought at ma­jor tour­na­ments.

This was Pouille’s third ca­reer vic­tory in a fiveset­ter — and all have come in his past three matches.

Since los­ing in last year’s French Open quar­ter­fi­nals, Nadal has failed to make it be­yond the fourth round at a ma­jor.

Pouille was joined in the quar­ter­fi­nals by a pair of coun­try­men, No. 9 Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga and No. 10 Gael Mon­fils, giv­ing France three mem­bers of the men’s quar­ter­fi­nals at the Amer­i­can Grand Slam tour­na­ment for the first time in 89 years.

The other quar­ter­fi­nal on that side of the draw will fea­ture Tsonga against No. 1 No­vak Djokovic or 84thranked Kyle Ed­mund of Bri­tain.

Tsonga got there by elim­i­nat­ing the last Amer­i­can man in the field, No. 26 Jack Sock, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2.

In the women’s draw, Anas­tasija Sev­as­tova up­set 13th-seeded Jo­hanna Konta 6-4, 7-5 to be­come the first Lat­vian woman to make the fi­nal eight at a Grand Slam since Larisa Savchenko in 1994.

Sev­as­tova will face twotime U.S. Open run­ner-up Caroline Woz­ni­acki, a 6-3, 6-4 win­ner over eighth­seeded Madi­son Keys.

Roberta Vinci, seeded sev­enth, topped 99thranked Le­sia Tsurenko 7-6 (5), 6-2 to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals for the fourth time in five years.

ALEX GOODLETT/GETTY

Rafael Nadal cov­ers his face af­ter miss­ing a short fore­hand in the fifth set of his loss to Lu­cas Pouille on Sun­day.

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