Botic van de Zandschulp is one of the Cinderellas of the US Open 2021. This Wednesday he achieved the most important victory of his career in four sets against Casper Ruud, seeded eighth, and advanced to the third round, instance in which he will face another covered as is the Argentine Facundo Bagnis. The 25-year-old is still out of the Top 100 but, since qualifying, he has played all four Grand Slams of the season and is getting stronger.
Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open. Van de Zandschulp is the only tennis player who was able to overcome all the Majors rankings in this 2021. He arrived at All England as a lucky loser, but won 11 games and only lost one (against Marco Trungelliti in Roehampton, where the London GS qualifier is played). With little running on the ATP circuit, he has already gotten used to the big battles and epic triumphs: at Roland Garros he came back from an incredible match to the Polish Hubert Hurkacz – he fell 2-0 in sets and took him in the fifth – and now He hit the hit against one of the great contenders to reach the second week.
It was a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4 victory over the No. 11 in the world to advance to the third instance of the US Open.
Beyond the fact that he is still unknown to many, the growth of the native of Wageningen brings with it a fantastic growth, which has been capitalized in the Grand Slams but is based on the Challenger circuit. Two years ago, while the US Open 2019 was taking place, he was ranked 340 in the world rankings, but in 24 months he made a leap in quality that today places him very close to the top 100. A Challenger, several finals in that category, the second round of Roland Garros and Wimbledon plus this tournament in New York, which has not yet finished, clearly show how much he has grown as a tennis player in recent years.
His style of play is very clear and linear. He seeks to dominate with his right hand and earn a lot of free points with his serve, especially the plane. In spite of his 1.91 in height and his great bearing, his mobility is truly correct – that is why he has achieved good results in brick dust. Another highlight is his slice backhand, sharp and precise.
Beating Bagnis (without previous antecedents) would mean a before and after in his career, because if he succeeds, he will enter the Top 100 for the first time in your life. Its entry has been delayed a bit longer by the newly frozen ranking.