Latvian Sevastova stuns defending champ Stephens in US Open quarters

07 September, 2018, 06:02 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Stephens

She made her way into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Elise Mertens on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday night that was a bit more hard than the score indicated, but it was a solid effort. It was just a tough day.

The Latvian, who retired from tennis five years ago due to injuries and illness before returning in 2015, can expect another stern challenge on Thursday, in the form of 23-time grand slam singles champion Williams or Pliskova, another former world number one. But Sevastova held her concentration and her serve before racing to break in the next. "That's the most important thing to me", she continued.

"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, a lot to be proud of", she said.

"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", she said.

Serving for the match at 5-3 Williams didn't allow any room for doubt, holding at love with two aces and an overhead smash followed by one last ace.

Third seed Stephens was wilting in the heat on what is expected to be the hottest day of a scorching U.S. Open but, after falling 2-0 down at the beginning of the second set, she finally showed some fight.

Indeed Stephens fought back to narrow the gap to 4-3, but Sevastova grabbed another break with a well-timed drop shot for a 5-3 lead and sealed the victory on her third match point when a tired Sephens put a backhand into the net. There were only a few more games that Sevastova had to do in sealing the round and Stephens' unforced errors were part of the problem which kept appearing like an unwanted guest at a celebration.

"There's a pattern maybe, because", she said, "because some tournaments I play always good".

"I think you need some time to look at the journey - it was an fantastic journey these three to four years", she added. I don't know. It's going to be a close match, I think.

"You think, 'Oh, but in the end it's fantastic, yeah?' You can't believe, yeah".

After taking a 4-1 lead in the second set, Sevastova admitted that memories of last year's quarter-final against Stephens flashed across her mind. Right now you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it.

"Either way, against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match".

"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals".

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