Botic van de Zandschlup is no a player we expected into the final eight at Flushing Meadows but the Dutch qualifier ranked at 117 in the world see’s his story in the city where dreams are made of continue.
The 25 year old has barely played on the ATP tour during his career, most of his tennis has been played at Challenger/ITF and Futures level winning a combined 24 titles in singles and doubles.
It has been one of the most unusual runs through qualifying to the final eight winning seven matches but six of them from a set down, the toughest opponent yet (on paper) he dispatched with near enough ease.
QR1 – 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2 vs. Barrios Vera
QR2 – 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 vs. Shelton
QR3 – 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 vs. Couacaud
R1 – 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 vs. Taberner
R2 – 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 vs. Ruud
R3 – 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 vs. Bagnis
R4 – 6-3 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-1 vs Schwartzman
It has been a season of firsts for Botic, he never played a major match before and a couple of years ago split from his Federation to go and do it his way, a risk but he is now reaping the rewards. He qualified for Melbourne, Paris, got upgraded in Wimbledon and this run has been sensational.
To think before this summer he had never been to America to play tennis, no he is in the quarter finals of the US Ope. It’s a dream and it isn’t just about now but this run makes it easier to get into bigger events. He will go up to around 65 in the world from 117.
His tennis is productive and progressive. He has a big serve, strong backhand and good moving forehand into the forehand and finishing at the net. Against someone like Diego who likes a baseline battle it was the Argentines nightmare. It is fantastic for tennis and for many in the game to see Botic and Aslan come out of nowhere and make these charges showing it can be done and it takes one tournament to make a major difference.
It did look like getting away from him being pushed to five sets after seeing match points but he kept up with the Argentine to secure a massive win!