Hijikata falls, De Minaur Looks to Advance to the Quarterfinals

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
04/09/2023
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Hijikata Bows Out in the Round of 16, De Minaur Looks to Avoid the Same Fate

Hijikata’s dream run ends in the round of 16 while Alex De Minaur aims to keep progressing to the quarterfinals.  

News Insights

  • Hijikata’s underdog story comes to an end.
  • New career high ranking on the way for Hijikata.
  • De Minaur and Medvedev set to do battle.
  • De Minaur looks to tie his best ever Grand Slam finish.

Australian wildcard RinkyHijikata progressed all the way to the US Open round of 16 before falling early yesterday morning to Frances Tiafoe. Alex De Minaur has dominated on his way to today’s matchup with third ranked Daniil Medvedev with a quarterfinal berth on the line. 

Hijikata Falls to Tiafoe

Australian 22-year-old RinkyHijikata’s dream run at this year’s US Open came to an end early yesterday morning in the round of 16. 

Hijikata gained automatic entry into the singles draw by way of a wildcard and made the most of his opportunity. 

He entered his matchup with the tenth ranked Tiafoe as a massive underdog but was unable to keep his magical run alive as he fell in straight sets to the American. Many betting sites had him as a massive underdog before the match started. 

Hijikata began the match holding his own against the red-hot Tiafoe holding his first four service games with relative ease. Unfortunately, he had no luck at breaking Tiafoe as the American served spectacularly all match long. 

At 4-4 in set one Tiafoe was able to break Hijikata and then serve out the set with three aces, holding at love. 

The second set was all Tiafoe as he stepped up his game to another level dominating Hijikata in all aspects with his serve, power, and consistency. He broke Hijikata three times en route to a 6-1 set victory. 

Hijikata showed his heart in set three as rather than laying over and letting Tiafoe embarrass him, he got back to the play that brought him to this moment and played competitive tennis. 

He gave up a break to go down 2-4 at which point it would have been easy for him to roll over and accept the defeat but rather he immediately found his first break of the match in the next game. 

Unfortunately, he was unable to deal with Tiafoe’s impressive return game and despite breaking him again at 3-5 could not hold his own serve and eventually dropped the set 4-6. 

Hijikata will still be leaving New York City with his head held high as he far exceeded any expectations that had been placed on him by making the round of 16. He also earned a new career high ranking as having been no. 110 before the tournament, he is expected to jump to around 80th now. 

De Minaur Matches up with Medvedev

Australia’s top ranked singles player Alex De Minaur expected to be in the round of 16 and here he is. 

The 13th seed has dominated his way through the opening rounds of the tournament having dropped just a single set thus far. 

He now faces a familiar foe in third ranked Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev won this event in 2021 but fell in the round of 16 last year to Aussie Nick Kyrgios. 

The pair have played each other six times with Medvedev holding a 4-2 advantage. However, it’s De Minaur who has been victorious in the past two iterations of the rivalry having defeated Medvedev in Toronto just one month ago and in Paris last year. 

De Minaur is looking to tie his best ever grand slam finish with a victory as he previously has made the quarterfinals at this event in 2020. 

Betting sites have Medvedev as a slight favourite going into the match but with the form that De Minaur has been on as of late this will certainly be a dog fight. 

Just two Australians made the round of 16 in the singles draws at this year’s US Open. 22-year-oldRinkyHijikata had his inspiring run ended by Frances Tiafoe while Alex De Minaur is facing off with Daniil Medvedev looking to make his way into the second Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career.