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 was just a tough day. She spent two years studying leisure management but returned to tennis once she felt fully healthy.
Stephens returned to NY with a spring in her step amid hopes of becoming the first woman to retain a Grand Slam title since Serena Williams triumphed at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016.
But the change of ends that followed forced Stephens back into the sunshine and she looked unsettled once more, berating herself as Sevastova moved 4-1 up with a win to love. "I think I try not to put too much emphasis on defending the title, just try to come in and win as many matches as possible". "If you were to play the same people in a row again and beat all of them again, that would be defending your title".
The exit of the third seed means Karolina Pliskova is the only member of the top 10 remaining ahead of her last-eight clash with Serena Williams on Tuesday evening.
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.
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In the first set Sevastova won all the key drawings - the Latvian has implemented 2 out of 2 break points and his serve played 7 Stevens attempts to take the game at the reception.
The 19th-seeded Latvian said the rigours of the tournament at flushing Meadows have not given her a moment to consider the long odds she overcame to regain her competitive form. "I need to play my best match of the tournament if I want to keep having chances to stay in the tournament". It looked good when she broke Mertens to start the second, and wouldn't you know it, she gave it right back in the second.
"In the end it's wonderful, you can't believe it".
"But now, obviously when you win more you have higher goals".
"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals".
This is the first time since 2011 that Nadal has made the quarter-finals or better at each of the four Grand Slams of the season. Previous year he lost a very tough match against Del Potro here.