Top seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig exited from the mixed doubles event after a shock loss in the second round of the US Open 2016. Rafael Nadal also lost shockingly in an edge-of-the seat duel to Frenchman Lucas Pouille, making him the third Frenchman to enter the quarters in the men's event.
Mirza and Dodig lost the match in straight sets as the top seeded Indo-Russian combination were unable to put up a fight, losing 3-6, 4-6, in a game which lasted one hour and five minutes. Their opponents Barbora Krejcikova and Marin Draganja were on top from the very beginning as they broke Mirza and Dodig in the second game of the match. They broke the top seeds again in the fourth game to take a 4-0 lead and closed out the set at 6-3.
Sania and Dodig showed early promise in the second set breaking Barbora and Marin in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. But the Czech-Croatian pair broke back in the very next game and then drew par at 2-2. At a crucial stage at 4-4, Mirza and Dodig lost their service game to allow a 5-4 lead to the opponents who closed the match in the next game.
14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal may have one of the best five-setter win records and has downed the greatest-of-all-time in the grandest stage. But today he lost a humdinger of a match to 24th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille. Pouille displayed immense nerve in staging a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) win against Nadal in a four-hour marathon that was decided in the tie-breaker of the fifth set.
After having traded the first four sets, the final went into the tie-breaker where the Frenchman took a 4-1 lead. But, Nadal drew close to 4-3 before Pouille surged to 6-3 to set up triple match point.
Nadal saved them all to make it 6-6, and looked set to pull off a miracle when his forehand found the net to fall kindly for Pouille to smash it home.
Nadal had gone on an all-out attack firing 52 winners in the match along with 35 of 48 successful forays to the net, but it just wasn't enough on the night.
"I couldn't dream better than this,” said Pouille, while Nadal said, "I fight until the end, until the last ball. Was a very close match. I congratulate my opponent, he played with better decisions than me the last couple of points.”
Pouille will next face Gael Monfils in the quarterfinal – Monfils has been in terrific form as he kept up his record of not losing a set so far in the event with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory winner against Marcos Baghdatis.
Ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced into the quarters as the third Frenchman defeating Jack Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-2.
Tsonga will face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who completed a straight 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Kyle Edmund despite his rustiness after walk-overs in both his earlier matches.
In other battles for the last-eight spots, Andy Murray will take on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem and former champion Juan Martin del Potro will face-off, while Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori are also still in the fray.
Angelique Kerber powered through into the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Petra Kvitova, while ex-world number one Wozniacki defeated American eighth seed Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 to make the last-eight.
Anastasija Sevastova also reached the quarterfinals after she beat British 13th seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-5. 2015 runner-up Roberta Vinci also reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.
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