Defending champion Sloane Stephens has been knocked out of the US Open in the quarterfinals after defeat by 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.
Stephens hit 27 unforced errors and lost 6-2, 6-3 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. She never seemed comfortable in the heat at any point during the match.
“Today I just really couldn’t get anything to connect,” Stephens said afterwards.
“Even when I did have my break opportunities, I just wasn’t playing the points well at all.
“Mentally, physically, I just wasn’t connecting. It just was a really tough day. The heat doesn’t make it any more fun.”
In winning, Sevastova became the first Latvian woman to reach the semi-finals of the US Open. The result also sees Sevastova reach the semi-finals at a grand slam for the first time in her career.
“I saw that she was struggling,” Sevastova admitted.
“I was struggling also a little bit, but I didn’t show it that much. But I don’t play dropshots when I see the player struggling or bending over, no.
“I just play them instinctively, and that’s how they work, or don’t work sometimes.”
Sevastova retired from tennis in 2013 due to injuries before returning in 2015. How her fortunes have changed since then.
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