Anastasija Sevastova stuns Sloane Stephens at US Open

Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova

Defending champion Sloane Stephens eased into the quarter-finals of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Belgian Elise Mertens yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"I feel like just getting through it in general was all I'm looking at now and not looking back and just moving towards the next match", offered a relieved Williams.

Stephens was ranked 83rd in the world when she upset Sevastova in three sets in the quarter-finals previous year, trailing by a break in the third set before winning it in a tiebreaker.

Stephens and Sevastova met at the same stage previous year, with the American coming from a break down in the final set before winning on a deciding tie-break.

"Last year I was almost one point away from doing that too", said Nadal, referring to his close five-setter with Gilles Muller in the Wimbledon fourth round last season. "It was important that I won the first set".

In the semifinals, Sevastova will face the victor of the Tuesday night quarterfinal between two former World No.1 players, six-time US Open champion Serena Williams of the United States or 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

"So the fact that I made it to the quarter-finals and played some really good matches and I just competed as hard as I could, I mean (there's) a lot to be proud of".

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Don't do it in these moments. "No goalkeeper in the world should dribble in that situation but he did it but it's all OK". I've just got to move on and I'm happy to be back in the squad. "I wanted to keep playing and keep the possession".

Stephens had used some obscene words out of desperaiton for not being able to execute her shots with pinpoint precision like in the other three rounds to win the match.

The 5 set match lasted almost five hours. "I worked really hard on that".

This is a rematch of the French Open final, won by Nadal in June.

Juan Martin del Potro beat John Isner to make a second straight U.S. Open semifinal, and extend the Americans' drought at their host tournament. They play aggressive. They serve big.

"(Mertens) beat me two weeks ago so I knew that I had to come here and fight and do my best", Stephens said in. Stephens clawed back to 4-3 and had chances to level up but Sevastova's drop shots caught her off guard time and again and a particularly devilish one presented her with the chance to serve for the match.

"There is still semi-finals", she said. But Sevastova held her concentration and her serve before racing to break in the next.

"I think you need some time to look at the journey - it was an fantastic journey these three to four years", she added. "When you're winning a tournament, you think that's normal".

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