Saturday, September 4, 2021

Brooksby, 20, to face Djokovic; Rogers stuns No. 1 Barty

Jenson Brooksby, a 20-year-old wild card from the Sacra-
mento area, beat Aslan Karatsev, seeded 21st and ranked
25th, in five sets today in the third round of the U.S. Open.
2021 photo courtesy of USTA 
   The Carmichael Kid will have his work cut out for him on Labor Day.
   Jenson Brooksby, a 20-year-old wild card from Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area, is scheduled to face top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Monday in the U.S. Open round of 16. It will be Brooksby's first match against a top-10 player.
  Brooksby advanced with a 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Aslan Karatsev, seeded 21st and ranked 25th, today in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Brooksby broke for 3-1 in the fifth set on a double fault and held serve for 4-1.
   Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori, the U.S. Open runner-up in 2014, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 to improve to 20-2 in the head-to-head series with an 18-match winning streak.
   Djokovic seeks to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to earn a calendar-year Grand Slam. The 34-year-old Serb also aims to break the record of 20 major singles titles that he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 
   Meanwhile, unseeded Shelby Rogers, a 28-year-old American, shocked top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (5) in the round of 16. Barty, who won Wimbledon in July for her second Grand Slam singles crown, led 5-2 with two service breaks in the third set.
   Rogers, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist last year, had been 0-4 this year against Barty, although two of the matches were close, and 0-5 overall against the 25-year-old Australian.
   Brooksby avenged a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Karatsev, a 27-year-old Russian, in the first round of the French Open in May in their only previous meeting to become the youngest American man to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open since 20-year-old Andy Roddick in 2002. 
   In the Australian Open in February, the 114th-ranked Karatsev became the first player in the Open Era to reach the semifinals in his Grand Slam main-draw debut, the first qualifier to advance to a major semifinal since Vladimir Voltchkov at Wimbledon in 2000 and the lowest-ranked Grand Slam semifinalist since No. 125 Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 2001. 
   Brooksby, ranked No. 307 when he turned pro in late December, will jump at least 20 spots to No. 79 after the U.S. Open.
   Men's doubles — U.S. wild cards Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, a 33-year-old San Francisco native now living in Las Vegas, surprised No. 14 seeds Simone Bolelli of Italy and Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the second round. 
   Also, Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Andres Molteni of Argentina edged No. 11 seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Japan 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7).
   Mixed doubles — Giuliana Olmos, a Bay Area product who represents Mexico, and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador ousted top-seeded Nicole Melichar-Martinez, a Czech-born American, and Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 3-6 [10-5] in the second round. 
   Melichar (pronounced Mel-i-car)-Martinez and then-44-year-old Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic won the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif.
   In the opening round today, No. 6 seeds Ena Shibahara (a San Francisco Bay Area native) and McLachlan beat U.S. alternates Hayley Carter and Hunter Reese 7-5, 6-2.

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