Defending champ Sloane Stephens falls in quarterfinals

Justin GreeneSep 07, 2018

"I'm sure she'll give me a tough match on Tuesday". "Right now you're so in the tournament and you don't feel it". Kimiko Date was the last to do so at Wimbledon 1996.

Serena Williams is through to the Women's semi finals following a straight set win over eight seed Karolina Pliskova. Nadal had defeated Thiem in the Roland Garros final in June but this was their first meeting away from a clay court.

Peter Bodo has been covering tennis for over 35 years, mostly recently for ESPN. He needed only 24 minutes to take the first set.

Williams trailed by a break in the opening set and then was a point from going down a double break before she turned things around against the Czech eighth seed.

It was already 2.04am and four hours and 49 minutes into the tightest of matches when he finally overcame Dominic Thiem, edging a sudden death shootout to make tomorrow's semi-finals at Flushing Meadows. "I need to play my best match of the tournament if I want to keep having chances to stay in the tournament".

The No. 20 seed moved from Japan to NY at age 3, and her deepest major run is coming at the same tournament she first visited as a child. Stephens gave credit to her opponent, Sevastova saying "It's hard match and I though she played solid today and obviously the better player won".

"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".

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 Stephens put a backhand into the net.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa returns a shot Dominic Thiem of Austria during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Sunday Sept. 2
Kevin Anderson of South Africa returns a shot Dominic Thiem of Austria during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Sunday Sept. 2

23-time Grand Slam victor, Serena Williams, continued her push for another title as she booked a semi-final berth at the US Open 2018.

"In a tournament you have a couple of really tough matches you have to battle through - that was one I had to dig deep", Stephens said.

She won 59 points to just 28 for the unseeded Ukrainian, who knocked off No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.

"You have to appreciate it more", she said.

"When you're playing a whole new draw, different seedings, different ranking, there's so much that goes into it. I like to see that trophy every single day in my home", del Potro said. Stephens would take the championships match, winning 6-3 6-0.

But women's title holder Sloane Stephens, the world number three, crashed out when she lost to 19th seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 6-3.

Stephens disputed the concept of being a defending champion after her fourth round win over rival Elise Mertens, and stood by her theory on Tuesday.

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