World number three Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the US Open as she was stunned in round two by Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.
Muguruza won three games in a row to threaten a comeback in the second set but Sevastova finally converted her fourth match point to win 7-5 6-4 in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sevastova temporarily gave up tennis in 2013 due to illness and injury but she has now reached her first grand slam third round, where she will meet Kateryna Bondarenko.
“I was shaking a little bit at the end,” Sevastova said. “It’s amazing. On Ashe, in a night match, what’s going to be bigger?
“I had to solve my head, my thoughts, what could be, what could not – everything. But I am so happy it went well.”
The world number 48’s only other match against a top-10 player this year came against Simona Halep in July, when she lost 6-0 6-0.
The Latvian stuttered when leading Muguruza 5-1 in the second set, before breaking the Spaniard to finally get over the line.
“I didn’t feel calm inside,” Sevastova said. “Then I stopped thinking. I was thinking too much at 5-2, at 5-3, then I thought I had one more chance at 5-4.
“I thought I broke her enough times so I tried one more time.”
Asked what she would do to celebrate, Sevastova said she would go out with her mum, who was watching her daughter for the first time at a grand slam.
“She will drink,” Sevastova said. “And I will watch.”
Anastasija Sevastova, who came out of retirement in 2015, takes down No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza in straight sets. pic.twitter.com/dzFwuABgiO
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 1, 2016
Muguruza has now failed to make round three at Flushing Meadows in four attempts and she has also bowed out in consecutive grand slam second rounds after going out at the same stage at Wimbledon.
It represents another disappointing result for the 22-year-old, who has struggled to back up her impressive run to the French Open title in June.
“I think it was a very tough match. I think I didn’t play well today. I think she also played well. Everything she was doing was kind of working,” Muguruza said.
“I don’t think about the French Open any second. It’s past. Everybody’s looking forward to the next one, the next tournament.
“Of course you have in your mind it’s a great achievement. No matter what, it’s a grand slam trophy.
“But I’m not thinking at all when I come here that I won the French Open. This is new tournament.”
Press Association Sport