Sevastova ends Sharapova’s US Open run

Maria Sharapova’s return to grand slam tennis after a doping ban ended at the US Open on Sunday evening as she went down in three sets to Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

The 30-year-old former world number one lost 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Sharapova, who returned to tennis in April after her 15-month suspension ended, had beaten world No.2 Simona Halep in the first round.

And despite taking the first set, Sharapova faded as the match went on and had to receive treatment for a blister on her right hand in the third set.

The Russian star was erratic throughout and made 42 winners to go with 51 unforced errors.
Sevastova had only 14 unforced errors and took the match on the fourth match point.

“Playing on Ashe stadium is an amazing atmosphere, every time. It’s fun to play here,” said Sevastova after the win.

“The first set was very close. It could have gone either way. She played unbelievable throughout the first and second set and I just kept fighting, running for every ball.”

Sevastova now faces a quarter-final tie against American Sloane Stephens, who defeated Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for her 12th win in 14 matches since returning from a year out with a foot injury.

Ninth seed Venus Williams was made to work for her place in the last eight against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, the two-time champion winning through after three sets.

The 37-year old is bidding for her third Grand Slam final of the year and will face either Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza or Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals after her 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory.