The world's top tennis stars will honor Labor Day by working one step closer to a U.S. Open title in Flushing Meadow, Queens.
Each bracket's top representative, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, will look to keep rolling during a pair of marquee Monday afternoon matches. Through three matches each, neither No. 1 seed has dropped a single set.
Among the eight men partaking in singles action on Day 8, all are ranked inside the top 25, with six of them inside the top 10. Now that they've escaped the early rounds without any upsets, there's no shortage of elite showdowns on the loaded bracket.
Have Labor Day off? Looks like you have a full day of U.S. Open action to watch. Here's all the necessary viewing information along with a guide to what's in store for the day.
|6 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Breakfast at the U.S. Open||Tennis Channel|
|10 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Today at the U.S. Open||CBS Sports Network|
|11 a.m. - 6 p.m.||Round of 16||CBS/CBS Sports Network|
|7 p.m. - 11 p.m.||Primetime at the U.S. Open: Round of 16||ESPN 2|
|11 p.m. - 6 a.m.||U.S. Open Tonight||Tennis Channel|
Order of Play: USOpen.org
Top Matches to Watch
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Kaia Kanepi
For all of Williams' sheer dominance over the years, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has yet to tunnel past the fourth round of a major tournament this season.
That's quite a rough patch for Williams, who had made at least one final in each of the past seven years, holstering a title in all but one of those years. After decimating her opening trio of opponents, she can break that slump by beating Kaia Kanepi in this afternoon's fourth-round bout.
Not only has Williams not lost a set yet in Queens, she hasn't come particularly close. The 32-year-old has not dropped more than three games in a single slate. Even her 6-3, 6-3 victory over Varvara Lepchenko was not to her liking.
"I got a little down on myself today," Williams told reporters after her win, per espnW.com's Melissa Isaacson. "But lesson learned. Next round, I'm just going to go in there and fight as hard as I can and leave everything on the court."
After Williams, Eugenie Bouchard represents the next highest-ranked woman, standing at No. 7. In a tournament full of upsets, the unseeded Kanepi is one of the unlikely faces looking to sneak into the quarterfinals. After narrowly sliding past 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur during a tiebreaking third set, she steamrolled past No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets.
ESPN's Jonny Elworthy doesn't see her as an easy pushover for Williams:
This would mark the event's grandest upset by a mile, but Williams has proven susceptible to such lapses against inferior competition. An unusual result here would send the bracket into unmitigated chaos without the hands-on favorite leading the brigade.
No. 5 Milos Raonic vs. No. 10 Kei Nishikori
For a glimpse ahead into the future of men's tennis, keep an eye on Monday night's headliner between Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.
These two young risers have met before, as noted by the U.S. Open Tennis' official Twitter page, and the 24-year-old Nishikori holds the edge over the 23-year-old Raonic:
Raonic, however, won the last matchup, which also came in the fourth round of a 2014 major event. Despite dropping the opening set, the Canadian stormed back to notch a victory over his budding rival.
The No. 10-seeded Japanese star detailed his blueprint for exacting revenge in New York to the ATP World Tour:
Hopefully I can get more returns in, because in the last match, he was hitting so many aces and hitting good serves. I couldn't do anything in my return games. For sure it's going to be a different game here. Still, it's a fast court here. It's going to be tough to get his serve. But I have been playing well. I'm going to try to focus on my service games and try to play another good match.
They've taken contrasting paths to the fourth round. While Nishikori has not lost a set, Raonic has scratched and clawed through every contest. He's only lost one set, but he needed tiebreakers to settle six others.
This has all the makings of a tightly contested, back-and-forth thriller that will award the winner with a winnable quarterfinals date with Stan Wawrinka or Tommy Robredo. Regardless of the result, both of them could soon vault into the notoriously secluded top tier of men's stars.