Stevens reached the quarter-finals of the US Open

Ruben Holloway
September 7, 2018

Pliskova got another chance when Williams batted a forehand into the net, but another booming serve, a backhand victor and an unreturnable serve saw her negotiate the danger. It just was a really tough day. She spent two years studying leisure management but returned to tennis once she felt fully healthy.

Playing in punishing heat and humidity, with a sinus infection that has plagued her since the tournament began, Stephens shied away from excuses, saying she just didn't play well enough to win.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal shockingly was shut out in the first set of his U.S. Open quarterfinal before coming back to beat No. 9 seed Dominic Thiem 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) in 4 hours, 49 minutes.

"I think it was very physical today", Sevastova, who lost to Stephens during a U.S. Open tune-up in Montreal last month, said during her on-court interview.

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

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3-6 to Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in sweltering conditions on Tuesday.

Sloane Stephens of the United States hits a return during the women's singles quarterfinal match against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia at the 2018 US Open tennis championships in NY, the United States, Sept. 4, 2018.

"Considering previous year after this tournament I s*** the bed for like 10 tournaments in a row, I definitely don't have any points to defend", she said.

"I didn't play my best", she said.

"I would never have forgiven myself if I had lost that match", said a tearful Osaka. "Maybe the top 100".

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The 14-year-old comes into this tournament as the second-ranked junior in the world after winning the girls' French Open title earlier this year. Quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is always really tough. Right now you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it, you know.

"I think you need some time to look at the journey - it was an wonderful journey these three to four years", she added.

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

Throughout the match Stephens complained about the heat and there were some questions as to whether or not the players should have stayed on. The two will square off in the semi-finals on Thursday, with the 23-time major champion Williams starting as the firm favourite.

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