Pouille became the third French player to reach the final 8 of the 2016 US Open, reaching his career first major quarterfinal. He joins his countrymen Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the first time France has had 3 quarterfinalists in the major era (which is somewhat surprising considering they have had 4 separate Top 10 players in the last decade: Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Tsonga and Monfils).
Pouille's match against Nadal was an astonishing performance, especially since it was Pouille's 3rd consecutive 5-set match, and despite bludgeoning Nadal off the court in a smoking 6-1 opening set in about a half-hour and after losing the second set 2-6, he squeezed out the 3rd set 6-4. However, after losing the 4th set 6-3, Pouille fell behind 0-2, 1-3 and 2-4 in the final set until he finally came back to break at 4-all and both players held serve to reach the 5th set tiebreak (which should be mandatory in all slams!) Pouille played an awful first point but then won 4 consecutive points to go up 4-1, but Nadal fought back and despite going down 3-6, the Spaniard was able to level the match at 6-all when he made a horrofying forehand error into the next, giving Pouille his 4th match point (on Nadal's serve) and after a tense groundstroke battle Nadal was forced into an error and lost the match.
I was in the crowd of tens of thousands of people waiting for Nadal's match to end the the day session before the night session began. There were few cheers when Nadal lost, but even his fans could appreciate the high level of tennis played and the effort it took for Pouille to complete the stunning upset in his very first time playing on the renovated Arthur Ashe, tennis' biggest stage.