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)

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

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members, before descending into a gorge near Nile Creek to rescue an injured woman on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (ASAR Twitter photo)
Arrowsmith SAR crews help rescue hiker who plunged 10 metres onto rocks near Nile Creek

Helicopter with winch system required for technical operation in remote location

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Nanoose Bay man sentenced after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, given six-month sentence after beating pet he was supposed to be caring for

The graph provided by the City of Parksville in a release issued on May 4, depicting a balanced financial budget for 2021. (submitted photo)
City of Parksville announces a balanced budget for 2021

Penalty date for property tax payments extended from July 2 to Oct. 1

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Most Read