He is in the quarter-finals of the US Open in his first US Open appearance. Who is Botic van de Zandschulp?
117-ranked Botic van de Zandschulp is not only entering his first Grand Slam, but he is also always a first-time visitor to New York and the U.S. It’s hard to argue against it being a very successful trip. Tonight he beat Diego Schwartzman in a tough five-setter, where he won the first two sets, lost set 3 and 4 with a tight margin, and then ran over Schwartzman in the fifth. Final score: 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 to the 25-year-old Dutchman.
I don’t think anyone saw this coming when he beat Casper Ruud in the second round, but Zandschulp has seemingly forgotten how to lose tennis matches.
Zandschulp will now face second seed Daniil Medvedev for a place in the semi-finals after firing 55 winners past Schwartzman. It was the first match in six where had won the first set.
“The atmosphere was great,” van de Zandschulp added. “I couldn’t let you guys down. The first for me in America and it has been great. I think before the tournament nobody expected me to reach the quarter-finals here and I hope they are proud in the Netherlands.”
Would you call him a journeyman? Perhaps. But with this performance, he is now moving into the top 100 players in the world after winning three qualifying matches and getting all the way to the US Open quarter-finals. I think that Daniil Medvedev in the kind of form he is in will be a tough challenge (too tough), but Zandschulp has nothing to lose. It’s all icing on the cake now.
It’s been a good tournament for qualifiers with Gojowczyk and Otte also reaching (at least) the fourth round. It shows that if you fight hard and play with confidence, a ranking can be just a ranking.
Zandschulp’s best year ever