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

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A performance by Alex Cuba will be streaming live on Arts Revelstoke platforms on Feb. 12, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Fasano, submitted by Arts Revelstoke)
Arts Revelstoke hosting virtual performances and movies this season

REVY. Live and Movies in the Mountains is returning

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Four friends were heading to their home on Highway 6 just south of Silverton on the evening of Dec. 25, 2020, when the people in the front of the vehicle saw what looked like a “huge, man-like figure” on the side of the road. (Pixabay.com)
Possible Bigfoot sighting shocks, excites Silverton residents

‘I didn’t see the creature myself, I saw the prints’

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Most Read