Tournament: US Open 2016
Date: 6 September, Tuesday
Time: 1am SGT (Wednesday)/11:30pm IST/7pm BST
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
TV Channel: Eurosport will provide live TV coverage in Singapore
Live Updates: Live Scores can be tracked on US Open's official website
It will be a clash between two countrymen when France's Gael Monfils and Lucas Pouille meet at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday for a spot in the semi-final of the 2016 US Open.
Showman Monfils will have to settle with his opponent being the focus of attention in their quarter-final clash. Pouille stunned 14-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal 1-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) to earn his last-eight spot. Despite trailing 3-4 in the decider, the 22-year-old showed steely resolve to outclass the Spaniard.
"He's a player that has all the shots. He is a potential top-10 and a good fight for the big things the next couple of years. If he's able to keep playing well, keep improving," Nadal spoke of his fourth round opponent, as quoted by US Open's official website.
Pouille has steadily climbed up the ladder since he turned pro in 2012. Despite crashing out of his maiden grand slam appearance at the Roland Garros in 2013, he has made giant strides in 2016.
At the 2016 Wimbledon, the young Frenchman reached the quarter-final, in which he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. Pouille though came up with impressive performances as he defeated higher-ranked opponents Juan Martin Del Potro and Bernard Tomic enroute to the last-eight round.
The 25th-ranked player, with his showing at the US Open, has proved his progress to the final stages at the Wimbledon was no fluke. Despite playing three five-setters in the ongoing tournament, the Nadal-slayer has remained fit and has maintained that his rigorous training helped him prepare for draining encounters.
"Mentally, I am stronger, physically, I am stronger." Pouille said after his match against Nadal.
On the other hand, Monfils has hardly broken any sweat in his previous rounds at the US Open. He has made light work of his opponents and has stormed into the quarter-final without dropping a set.
Despite showing promise to make it big at the highest stage, Monfils has struggled to close out big matches in his career. His best grand slam performance came when reached the semi-final at 2008 Wimbledon.
The former French No. 1 though will be relying on his experience to make it count in his third US Open quarter-final on Tuesday.
Monfils' form in 2016 is something Pouille should be wary of. He began the year by making it to the quarter-final of the Australian Open and also won his first ever ATP World Tour 500 Series singles title in July. The 30-year-old would definitely want to improve on his grand slam record and overcome his young compatriot on Tuesday.