Rafael Nadal’s quest for a third US Open title came to an end on day seven at Flushing Meadows as young Frenchman Lucas Pouille stunned the Spaniard in a five set thriller to book his place in the quarter-finals.
Nadal twice cam from behind to force the match into the decider but 22-year-old Pouille held his composure to recover from a break down in the fifth, before converting a fourth match point to win 6-1 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (8/6).
Pouille will now face compatriot Gaels Monfils for a place in the semi-finals as the tenth seed cruised past Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-2 6-3, who is still yet to drop a set at this year’s US Open.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga made it a hat-trick of Frenchman to reach the last eight as the ninth seed denied American Jack Sock an incredible comeback to win in four sets.
26th seed Sock carried the USA’s final hopes of a home champion but the powerful Frenchman proved too good to claim a 6-3 6-3 6-7(7) 6-2 victory, to make it three Frenchmen in the quarter-finals of an American grand slam in 89 years.
World number one Novak Djokovic is next up for Tsonga as Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund proved no match for the defending champion who eased into the quarter-finals in straight sets.
Djokovic received a walkover in the second round and only lasted 30 minutes on Friday when Mikhail Youzhny pulled out with injury in the first set and the refreshed Serbian thumped the unseeded Edmund 6-2 6-1 6-4 to keep hopes of retaining his US Open title alive.
In women’s action, former world number one Caroline Wozniacki looks to be back to her very best as she knocked out eighth seed Madison Keys to the reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Wozniacki dropped out of the top 50 after a poor run of form and ankle injury, but she continued her fine form in New York to beat her American opponent with a tidy 6-3 6-4 win.
Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova will face Wozniacki in the quarter-finals on Tuesday as she followed up her impressive win against French Open champion Garbine Muguruza to end Johanna Konta’s tournament.
The 48th seed gave up tennis three years due to poor form and injury before returning earlier this year and the decision seems to have paid off for the Latvian, who is through to the last eight after a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over the British number one.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber remains on course for her second grand slam title of the year as the Australian Open champion dumped out 14th seed Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5 to also keep hopes of moving into the world number one spot alive.
Last year’s beaten finalist Roberta Vinci is next up for Kerber, after the Italian had to dig deep to overcome Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory.