Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

‘17 champ Stephens wins quite a point, returns to US Open QF

Stephens Sloane Stephens
| 07 September, 2018, 06:04

The American third seed seemed to struggle physically in high temperatures in NY, with the extreme heat policy again in place.

She recovered from foot surgery that forced her to miss most of the season and from a ranking that had fallen to almost 1,000 to win her first Grand Slam all inside a year.

"I'm going to watch the match [between Williams and Pliskova in Tuesday's night session]".

The high temperatures have been a significant issue during this year's championships with the conditions described as "dangerous" in the opening rounds, while Roger Federer said he was "happy the match was over" after his defeat in high humidity on Monday.

Sevastova looked rocky in the first set, but took advantage of uncharacteristically slow play from Stephens and won the first set 6-2.

"It was so hot in the stadium". At 4-2 with the Latvian leading, Stephens slammed a cross court shot to her opponent that she wasn't able to return, winning the point.

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.

She earned the last of five breaks in the second set to take a 5-3 lead and served it out on her third match point when a tired Stephens put a backhand into the net.


Such a run didn't seem likely when she returned to competition in January of 2015, finally healed from a litany of injuries that included debilitating back trouble.

But the 25-year-old American, who lost her quarter-final against Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets, is not about to lose any sleep over her failed bid at a repeat or let it affect her fighting spirit going forward.

But Stephens said afterwards that she had been feeling under the weather in the build-up to the match. "Maybe the top 100". When you go to a tournament, it starts all over again.

"But in the end it's wonderful, yes?" The Spanish player marked her 30th birthday in style with a memorable 6-4, 6-3 win over the five-time Grand Slam champion whose last Grand Slam win was in Paris in 2014.

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

A 10-minute break will be allowed between the second and third sets of women's singles matches if either player requests one.

"You were here previous year, you did something so great - what's going to happen now?"

NEW YORK -Defending champion Sloane Stephens just keeps sailing along.

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