With the pressure on, Andrey Rublev stepped up and delivered Saturday, clawing past Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-7) in a US Open thriller.
In a mammoth clash on Grandstand, the ninth seed battled through an epic 10-minute game on serve to clinch the fourth set. He then recovered from squandering three match points on serve at 5-4 in the decider, eventually advancing after four hours and 10 minutes to reach the fourth round in New York for the fourth time.
The 24-year-old fired 38 winners and collapsed to the ground in delight after sealing his standout win on his fifth match point. With the crowd on their feet, Rublev then rose himself as he shared a warm embrace with World No. 21 Shapovalov at the net.
Rublev also survived in five sets in his first-round match against Laslo Djere and now holds a 2-1 record in deciding-set matches at the hard-court major.
The 24-year-old has improved to 3-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against the Canadian and will next play seventh-seeded Briton Cameron Norrie after the 26-year-old downed Holger Rune 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.
If Rublev can overcome Norrie, he will equal his best performance in New York. The ninth seed enjoyed runs to the quarter-finals in 2017 and 2020, defeating Matteo Berrettini en route to the last eight two years ago.
Rublev is up to sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin following his epic Match Tie-break victory. He has lifted tour-level trophies in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade this season and is seeking his maiden Grand Slam crown this fortnight in New York.
Shapovalov eliminated Marc-Andrea Huesler and Roberto Carballes Baena in his opening two matches and played with confidence against Rublev. The 2020 quarter-finalist blasted winners from all angles throughout the third-round match, but was unable to find one final push in the Match Tie-break.