American Gauff continues juniors run at US Open

Sherman Parsons
September 7, 2018

Defending champion Sloane Stephens eased into the quarter-finals of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Belgian Elise Mertens yesterday morning (Singapore time).

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.

"I just really couldn't get anything to connect".

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

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. 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.

"I'm going to play doubles tomorrow [Wednesday] - that's my preparation", said 19th seed Sevastova when asked how she will get ready for the biggest match of her career.

Anastasija Sevastova greets Sloane Stephens after quarter-final win in 2018 US Open. 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.

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She broke again to go up 2-0 in the second set before Stephens, pleading with herself to fight, broke back.

Having reached her second Grand Slam final at this year's French Open before an encouraging tune-up to Flushing Meadows, Stephens was considered a favourite.

"I saw she was struggling, but I don't play drop shots when I see the player struggling or bending over", said Sevastova.

"Well I don't know", Williams said of how she engineered the turnaround. "Maybe the top 100".

"When you're playing a whole new draw, different seedings, different ranking, there's so much that goes into it. And when you're winning a tournament, you think that's normal".

"I can be proud of a lot of things that happened the last couple, the matches that I played, so I'm not going to dwell on it". Right now you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it.

As endearing as Sevastova's comeback story is, she faces probably the toughest prospect in women's tennis: Serena Williams.

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