By Jake Davies

  • Novak Djokovic [6] vs Joao Sousa
  • Roger Federer [2] vs John Millman
  • Madison Keys [14] vs Dominika Cibulkova [29]
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – The last of the fourth rounders are decided as we break down the best of the lot on Day 8 of the US Open.

 

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Novak Djokovic [6] vs Joao Sousa H2H: Djokovic leads 4-0

The 13-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is getting through the draw with not too much fuss right now. He surpassed Marton Fucsovics in a gruelling battle to begin with in the first round, survived a bit of a wobble to beat Tennys Sandgren and then produced his best performance to see off Richard Gasquet in a comfortable three sets.

Djokovic now goes on to face Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who will have absolutely nothing to lose. Sousa actually became the first man or woman from his country to make the last 16 of a major tournament and he has very much been carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on his shoulders for quite some time now.

Sousa presents a different challenge for Djokovic. He has the ability to win cheap and free points off of his serve and has been doing just that over the course of this tournament. He may not have overwhelming power, but he has the aggressive intent in his approach to really push an opponent on the back foot with his bigger forehand side. That is where he will do most of the damage.

The key for Sousa is to maintain a high first serve percentage. That will give him the more time to ensure his forehand is the first shot after the serve and it also prevents Djokovic from playing his return of serve deep and central on his favourite shot. Sousa delivering many second serves is a recipe for disaster against one of the best returners the game has perhaps seen.

Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets

 

READ MORE | US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

 

Roger Federer [2] vs John Millman H2H: Federer leads 1-0

Roger Federer in the third round of the US OPen, New York 2018

Roger Federer in the third round of the US OPen, New York 2018 | (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Roger Federer is yet to drop a single set during this tournament and capped off a fantastic first week at Flushing Meadows with a fine, exhibition-like performance against Nick Kyrgios in the third round. Federer will now face another Australian, and in many ways this is a different test in terms of the maintained level throughout the course of a whole match.

John Millman is one of tennis’ great maximisers. He does not have huge weapons that will blow his opponent off the court, but what he does bring is great attention and focus to each and every ball of each and every point. Millman very much makes his opponent play at a high level in order to get the better of him, because of his battling qualities on the match-court.

Federer should have too much in this match-up. Millman has the crispness in technique on his backhand side to cause a few problems, but overall Federer will have most of the match on his own terms and when he does have the control of a match it is hard for an opponent to find a way back.

Prediction: Federer in straight sets

 

POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Men’s Singles Title?

 

 

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Madison Keys [14] vs Dominika Cibulkova [29] H2H: Keys leads 4-0

Madison Keys in the quarter-final of Roland Garros, 2018

Madison Keys in the quarter-final of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

US Open defending finalist Madison Keys has to put behind an unconvincing performance in her last round and really try to raise her level in order to get the better of her next opponent Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round.

Keys is perhaps the biggest ball-striker in terms of power on tour. She can dominate matches through her first serve, but she is willing to take big risks when she takes on the forehand in the rally, which is the reason she got as high as the Top-10, because she has the weapons to take the match out of an opponent’s hands.

Cibulkova will be a tough nut to crack for the American, though. She may not be the tallest player on tour, but what she does have is an incredible amount of fight regardless whether she is in a winning or losing position in the scoreline. The Slovakian, who knocked out 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber in the last round, really plays to her strengths on a tennis court.

She takes most of her forehand strikes well inside the baseline and can keep her opponent on the move by dictating proceedings with that shot. The key for Cibulkova really is to ensure she controls points and to try to get to Keys’ backhand as much as possible. The American’s backhand off the return and in the rally was very worrisome in her last round.

Prediction: Cibulkova in three sets

 

POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Women’s Singles Title?

 

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