Playing his first match since the Australian Open quarter-final defeat to Rafael Nadal, the 2nd seed Frances Tiafoe suffered a tough 6-3, 7-5 loss to Jason Jung in an hour and 26 minutes, with the 29-year-old advancing into his second ATP quarter-final.
The world no. 143 had to play against only two break points, losing 14 points in 11 service games to suffer a single break of serve, not a hard task to match on the return against the rival who was far from his best. Frances couldn't find the rhythm on both the first or second serve, facing seven break points and giving the serve away thrice to hit the exit door after the first match in New York.
Jason hit the zone right from the start, serving well and securing a break in game two after forcing an error from Frances. That was the crucial moment of the set, with the Torrance resident firing a service winner in game nine for a 6-3.
The youngster repelled three break points at 2-2 to remain in touch before falling 4-3 down after a forehand down the line winner from Jung that sent him in front. Tiafoe saved a match point on serve at 3-5 and broke back in the next game after a costly double fault from Jason to level the score at 5-5.
That couldn't save the American from the defeat, though, spraying a forehand error in game 11 to find himself 6-5 down and bowing out after a hold at love from Jung who will now face Sam Querrey. The last year's finalist needed 70 minutes to dismiss Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4 following a dominant performance on serve that offered no break points to the Moldovan.
Albot landed 74% of the first serve in but he had to give away more than 40% of the points behind the initial shot, facing six break points and losing serve once in each set to propel Sam into the last eight. Querrey was off to a flying start, holding serve with ease and securing a break in game four when Radu netted a clean forehand.
Serving for the set at 5-3, Sam delivered three service winners to claim the opener and build the momentum before the second set where he served even better, waiting for a chance on the return patiently. It came in game seven and he didn't have to do much to confirm it after a double fault from Radu that sealed his fate in this match.
Querrey cemented the win with a hold at love in game ten, entering the quarter-final and looking good to go all the way, chasing the first title since August 2017. The giant server Reilly Opelka is through to the third ATP quarter-final after a 6-7, 7-6, 1-0 win over Denis Istomin, with the Uzbek retiring due to a left thigh injury.
The young American delivered fury from his first serve, blasting 32 aces and winning 56 out of 59 points, fending off both break points in the sixth game of the second set before prevailing in the tie break after being two points away from the defeat at 6-6.
Istomin lost the first six points of the deciding set and retired to avoid more serious injury.