Nadal Through To Quarter-Finals After Thriller

Virginia Santiago
September 7, 2018

Del Potro, the third seed, beat Isner, the 11th seed, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Tuesday.

Sevastova advanced to the first major semifinal of her career and will play either Serena Williams or 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the semis.

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

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

Sevastova, who avenged last year's quarter-final loss to Stephens in NY to reach her first grand slam semi-final, converted five of her eight break points and saved seven of the nine against her on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Sevastova, ranked 18th in the world, said she did not have many goals when she returned to tennis.

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"I'm trying!" she responded to a plea from the crowd to pick it up in the second set.

Stephens had used some obscene words out of desperaiton for not being able to execute her shots with pinpoint precision like in the other three rounds to win the match. A combination of Stephens' ineffectual play and Sevastova's cunning was enough to put the Latvian into the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is always really tough.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens was dumped out in the quarter finals of the US Open, losing 2-6.

Stephens by comparison won 73 percent of her first serves and saved four of the six break points she faced, while also making 10 fewer unforced errors than her opponent.

It was the first still moment in almost five hours of epic, smash-ball, anything-you-can-hit-I-can-hit-harder tennis.

She has had her best results in her second career, particularly in NY, where she has now reached the quarter-finals twice and the semi-finals once in the last three years. The quarterfinal between Nadal and Thiem had night-match classic written all over it, and the Spaniard and the Austrian delivered.

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It did take Williams a little while to get going as she pursues a seventh US Open title. "I just kept fighting".

As the intense heat at Flushing Meadows continued, Del Potro and Isner exchanged big serves in what was at times a fairly attritional affair.

With temperatures hovering above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2°C), and the tournament's extreme heat policy in effect for a second consecutive day, Sevastova broke an error-prone Stephens to go ahead 3-1 and never looked back.

The players put on fearless faces, but it certainly seemed that the conditions ruined a potentially grand occasion. "It was a tough battle and it will give me good confidence, even though I don't remember a lot of it", said the 28-year-old after getting revenge on Cilic in the quarter-finals.

By the end, Williams compiled a 13-3 edge in aces, and 35-12 in total winners.

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