By Jed Jones
- Naomi Osaka  v Belinda Bencic 
- Marin Cilic  v Rafael Nadal 
- Taylor Townsend v Bianca Andreescu 
NEW YORK, USA – The last few quarterfinal spots are available and there are many talented players still to play, but who will secure them?
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Naomi Osaka  v Belinda Bencic  | Bencic leads H2H 2-0
Another match with a contrast of styles, Naomi Osaka‘s big hitting game will face off against the craftiness of Belinda Bencic. The world No.1 is peaking at the right time and is playing her best tennis since winning the Australian Open. She was ruthless in the previous round against Coco Gauff and it seems virtually impossible to stop her. In order to maintain the top spot in the rankings, Osaka must win the tournament so the pressure is certainly on.
Bencic is also playing herself into form and her exploits here will see her return into the Top 10 once the event is finished. The 22-year-old will be feeling fresh as Anett Kontaveit‘s third round withdrawal means Bencic will have had four days away from the match court. The world No. 13 knows how to play well in New York: Bencic made the quarterfinals on her debut in 2014, although that was her last final eight showing at a Grand Slam.
The two contrasting players have played twice on the WTA Tour, both this season. Bencic got the better of Osaka in Indian Wells and Madrid – two big events – so the 22-year-old will be confident going into this clash. However, the world No. 1 has proven herself on the big stage more often than not, and her champions mentality should see her through.
Prediction: Osaka in three sets.
Marin Cilic  v Rafael Nadal  | Nadal leads H2H 6-2
With four US Open titles between them this could be the biggest match of the day on the ATP side. Marin Cilic looked dialled in against John Isner in round three and we all know that on his day, the Croat can take the game away from his opponent. The 30-year-old is looking to make an impressive sixth US Open quarterfinal, but to do so he will have to win a fourth straight match – something he has not been able to do all season.
Rafael Nadal goes into the match as the overwhelming favourite as he is enjoying yet another stellar year on tour. The world No. 2 has only played two matches at this years event, as Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew from their second round meeting. Nadal was forced to retire here last year so the rest could turn out to be very beneficial for the 33-year-old. The last time that Nadal failed to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal was at Wimbledon 2017 – nine Slams ago!
Cilic has not converted a match point against Nadal in ten years, although he was leading in the fifth set when the Spaniard retired from their match at the 2018 Australian Open. Aside from those two meetings the rivalry has been all Nadal, but Cilic does have the game to stop the three-time champion.
Prediction: Nadal in straight sets.
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Taylor Townsend v Bianca Andreescu  | First meeting
This will arguably be the biggest match of both player’s respective careers as they both search for a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. Taylor Townsend has been the surprise package of this years US Open. The American has won six matches in a row as she has come through qualifying to reach this stage. Townsend is also responsible for (arguably) the shock of the tournament as she defeated Simona Halep – coming to the net an astonishing 105 times.
You have to remind yourself that this is Bianca Andreescu‘s US Open debut. The 19-year-old is yet to drop a set and she dispatched Caroline Wozniacki with relative ease in the previous round. The Canadian is enjoying an unbelievable season: she is 32-3 in 2019 (and one of those losses was a retirement).
This will be the pair’s first ever meeting and the two play very different styles of aggressive tennis. Townsend likes to win her points at the net with her crisp volleys, and Andreescu uses her crushing forehand to register countless baseline winners. Both are enjoying fairytale runs, but the Canadian looks more likely to keep hers going.
Prediction: Andreescu in straight sets.
Play begins on Day Eight at 11am (4pm BST).
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