Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Defending champ Sloane Stephens knocked out in US Open quarters

Defending champ Sloane Stephens knocked out in US Open quarters

That was the first set surrendered by Del Potro at the U.S. Open this year and a positive omen for 11th seed Isner, who was 24-2 at Flushing Meadows when winning the first set.

He then pushed Nadal all the way in a classic Wimbledon quarter-final and could well get another crack at the Spaniard, who was due to face Dominic Thiem in the night session on Tuesday. This is her first US Open semifinal appearance after making it to quarters the past two years.

Top-seeded junior Cori "Coco" Gauff won her second round match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, over Romanian Selma Stefania Cadar, before juniors matches were suspended because of the heat.

When you go to a tournament, it starts all over again.

The temperature, more than 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius), made things uncomfortable across the 3 1/2-hour match.

Gauff's father, Corey, played basketball at Georgia State and her mother, Candi, ran track at Florida State. Sevastova briefly retired from the sport of tennis from May 2013 to January 2015 because of back and muscle issues, but she returned to tour after and has played continuous competitive tennis ever since.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens has become the latest big name to fall at the US Open.

Stephens beat Sevastova a year ago on her way to the title, but had no answer for the Latvian on Tuesday.

Sevastova, who broke serve a tournament-leading 23 times en route to this match, lost her serve twice in the opening set. At one point, Stephens shook her head in astonishment.

But Sevastova suddenly seemed to forget how to play tennis and gifted Stephens another break back.

Stephens, who was visibly struggling under the sauna-like conditions, simply had no answer for the steady stream of drop shots sent her way by Sevastova, who later said she was not trying to take advantage of the conditions.

The extreme heat policy is in effect for a second consecutive day at the U.S. Open. That match, unlike this year's contest, was a closely fought three-setter, with Stephens sticking it out in the deciding, third-set tiebreaker.

And for the first time since 2006, the host country can have a man there, too. Defending champion Stephens is up first on Arthur Ashe Stadium, facing No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova in a rematch of Stephens' three-set victory in the same round at Flushing Meadows previous year. Good question. And now she could be set to match up against another American: Serena Williams in the semifinal. Williams punched her ticket to the semifinal with a win over No. 8 seed Karolína Pliskova at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.

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