US Open quarters; Defending champion Sloane Stephens sent packing by Sevastova

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

He grimaced. He shook his head.

The semifinal will pit Nadal against third seed and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro for the second successive Grand Slam.

Defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens has been dumped out in the quarter-finals after losing 6-2, 6-3 to Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in sweltering conditions in NY. "When the things happens like this, the atmosphere and the crowd become more special". So did the humidity, at about 50 percent.

"I wish I don't go to five sets every time", Nishikori said.

"Defending a title is very hard, very difficult."

"I have never seen Roger sweat ever. If he's sweating a lot and has to change clothes, then you know it's pretty humid out there". It was Stephens through who seemed to have gotten the worst of the distraction.

Tsurenko labored in the heat during her fourth-round victory over Marketa Vondrousova, having her temperature and blood checked during a medical timeout in the first set and almost quitting when she trailed early in the second.

From there, the Australian Open runnerup settled into a groove and pulled away from Goffin, who was limited by a sore shoulder and unable to take advantage of an uneven serving display from Cilic.

"But the challenge of playing him on hard of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay". "She handled it better".

Just as she isn't looking back, Sevastova said she wouldn't look too far ahead - to the chance that she could finish the week a Grand Slam champion.

But del Potro presented all sorts of problems.

Williams fell behind again in the seventh game, but erased a 0-40 deficit with a 112 miles per hour (180 Km/h) service victor followed by a another service victor and an ace. Right now you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it.

"When he gets control of the point", Isner said, "it's very tough to wrest it back from him".

The encounter was always going to be decided by Isner's first-serve percentage and del Potro's ability to deal with it.

Nadal, the three-time champion, faces 2009 victor Del Potro and is two wins from clinching an 18th Grand Slam title. But once del Potro rebounded to claim the second, the third-set tiebreaker clearly was the critical moment. He kept puffing his cheeks and taking deep breaths between points.

The American got broken promptly in the fourth then wasted a break point with his 48th unforced error to let del Potro hold and go up 4-1.

At the changeover a game later, Isner plopped himself down in his seat. It's the first time he won the match after that kind of start. "We both felt exhausted in the end, we both fought all the match, and I think I survived with my serves in a couple of important moments of the match, and that was the only key".

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