Playing in only her second Grand Slam tournament after missing almost a year with a right foot injury, Stephens has now won 12 of her last 14 matches. The first set could have gone either way. But it hasn’t stopped rivals from questioning the special treatment meted out to Sharapova, who had lost her place on the ranking charts because she was serving a 15-month doping suspension.
Sharapova’s errors caught up to her Sunday.
But she was able to enter the U.S. Open thanks to a wild card from the U.S. Tennis Association, which then proceeded to put its 2006 champion in Arthur Ashe Stadium every time she played over the past week, drawing strong support from spectators – and criticism from another former No. 1-ranked woman, Caroline Wozniacki.
Sharapova blasted a backhand down-the-line victor to break for a 3-1 edge. To start her NY stay, she beat second-seeded Simona Halep in the first round and followed through with wins over unseeded Timea Babos in three sets and fellow wild card Sofia Klein in straights.
Sevastova, a quarter-finalist in NY also in 2016, said she was happy to see Sharapova playing again and that she felt no desire to prove a point on behalf of her peers. That helps explain why the match shaped to Sevastova’s liking, lulling Sharapova into her counter-puncher’s trap and tiring her. But Sevastova held at love, broke again and took the match on a service victor.
And Rublev kept up the pressure on Dimitrov before finally breaking him down 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
“I completely understand the business side of things and everything, but someone who comes back from a drug sentence, performance-enhancing drugs, and then all of the sudden gets to play every single match on centre court, I think that’s a questionable thing to do”, said the Dane.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov was bidding to become the youngest U.S. Open men’s quarterfinalist since Andre Agassi was also 18 in 1988.
“I can take a lot of examples from champions that are still playing, competing, and doing incredibly well, and that’s inspiring”.
‘Ultimately I can take a lot from this week.
The 2017 US Open, already lacking in star power due to the absence of Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, has suffered high casualties among seeded players. I did my best and I can be proud of that’. “Making it to the quarter-finals here is unbelievable”.
She will now look for a spot in the semifinals against Sloane Stephens, who defeated No. 30 seed Julia Goerges in three sets Sunday. Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon victor, eliminated No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. “There’s no doubt that not playing those matches certainly cost me today”.
In a draw half assured of producing a first-time Slam finalist, he has a Tuesday quarter-final against either French 16th seed Lucas Pouille or Argentine 29th seed Diego Schwartzman. He hit more winners (54 to Carreno Busta’s 25).
“At the beginning I was a little bit discouraged, maybe nervous”, Carreno Busta said. “But, again, I try to play smart”.