Friday, 16 November, 2018

US Open 2018: Sloane Stephens proud despite failure to repeat triumph

Stephens Stephens somehow gets to the ball before delivering an incredible winner. Pic Twitter US OpenMore
Jennie Wade | 07 September, 2018, 06:08

She finished the match with 13 aces and will take on Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the final after the 19th-seeded Latvian toppled defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3.

If you do not now have a subscription with Amazon, you can get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime by registering an account. But having returned to tennis in 2015, Sevastova has risen steadily through the ranks and is now ranked No 18 in the world.

Five years ago Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova was retired from professional tennis, having bowed out of the sport after a string of persistent and frustrating injuries. Goffin, who was bidding to become the first Belgian man to reach the US Open quarter finals, enjoyed a nice start with a break of serve and grabbed a 5-3 edge before moving within two points of taking the first set. Mentally, physically, I just wasn't connecting.

"Sometimes it doesn't have to be the best shot, but making them play another shot, you might get another opportunity".

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. 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 were signs the Latvian, seeded 19, was getting nervous as unforced errors crept into her game.

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Throughout the match Stephens complained about the heat and there were some questions as to whether or not the players should have stayed on.

She was cruising through her quarter of the draw until a bad sinus infection, sweltering playing conditions and the tenacious Sevastova got the better of her in the last eight. "Maybe the top 100".

Obviously from three, there's only two more spots to go. And when you're, like, winning a tournament, you think that's normal. Right now you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it, you know.

"You think, 'Oh, but in the end it's fantastic, yeah?' You can't believe, yeah. After I stop at some point I will look at it and I will be proud of myself for sure".

"Either way, against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match". "Defending a title isn't defending", she said.

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