LEARNING

Read more: US Open 2020: Day 8, Order of Play

Elise Mertens has won the joint-most matches (22) of any player on Tour in 2020, along with Elena Rybakina. Her opponent Sofia Kenin is bidding to become the first back-to-back Slam champion since Naomi Osaka (2018 US Open, 2019 Australian Open). Kenin has also won 26-of-28 service games (93%) at this US Open.

Maria Sakkari is aiming to become the first Greek woman to reach the quarterfinal stage of a major. Her opponent Serena Williams has hit a tournament-leading 32 aces this fortnight and has recorded the fastest serve (124mph / 199.5kph).

Serena faces No.22 seed Sakkari for the second consecutive week, having lost 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-1 in the Round of 16 at the Western & Southern Open after being up a set and 4-1 in the tiebreak.

At 21 years, 302 days, Kenin is the youngest player remaining in the draw while Serena Williams (38 years, 351 days) is the oldest.

Victoria Azarenka is on an eight-match winning streak, including her title run last week at Western & Southern Open. Azarenka has also won 16-of-24 return games (67%, a tournament best). Her opponent Karolina Muchova now has seven wins in Flushing Meadows, more than the other three Slams combined (six).

Azarenka is through to the Round of 16 for the 24th time in her 50 Grand Slam appearances. This is her first R16 appearance at the US Open since 2015. She is 16-7 in R16 matches across the Slams.

Alizé Cornet has now reached the R16 at all four majors and is aiming for her career first quarterfinal. Tsvetana Pironkova defeated two seeds this fortnight (No.10 Muguruza, No.18 Vekic), having lost her previous six Slam meetings against seeded players. The two players meet today for the first time in over nine years.

Playing in her first tournament since 2017 Wimbledon, Pironkova has advanced to the R16 for the 6th time in her career in 48 Slam appearances. She also advanced to the R16 at the US Open in 2012 when she lost to Ana Ivanovic.

Four of the players among final 16 have made 50 or more Grand Slam appearances: Serena Williams (75th), Cornet (57th), Azarenka (50th) and Angelique Kerber (50th).

READING

Joel Drucker of tennis.com reports on Jennifer Brady's upset win against former US Open champion Angelique Kerber.  

Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian assesses the challenge that lies ahead this week for Serena Williams as she bids for a record-tying 24th singles Slam.

Serena faced a tough battle against fellow American Sloane Stephens in the the third round (highlights below). ESPN reflects on that encounter.

WATCHING

2020 US Open highlights: Serena fights back in Stephens win

No.3 seed Serena Williams overcomes Sloane Stephens for three set third round win at the US Open.

ORDER OF PLAY

Read more: US Open 2020: Day 8, Order of Play

TRENDING