Defending champ Sloane Stephens knocked out of US Open

Defending champ Sloane Stephens knocked out of US Open

Defending champ Sloane Stephens knocked out of US Open

"It's been a great battle", an exhausted Nadal said.

Tuesday's clash will provide a new chapter for the duo and Nadal is looking forward to the challenge.

In a match that lasts 4 hours and 49 minutes, Dominic Thiem's shot goes long, giving Rafael Nadal the win in a tiebreak.

It is a mentality Stephens has developed over the past week at Flushing Meadows, having felt the weight of expectation in her opening matches.

Sevastova, who is 28, made the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career by hitting 18 winners to 13 for Stephens, while firing only one more unforced error than the American.

Novak Djokovic is aiming to make an eleventh US Open semi final tonight.

Nadal will meet del Potro next, in a redux of their semifinal clash previous year. del Potro defeated John Isner 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 earlier in the day. If you were defending, you'd be playing the same exact people all over again, which I didn't.

Sevastova, who retired in 2013 because of injuries and returned almost two years later, advanced to her first grand slam semi-final.

Sevastova said: "It was an awesome journey, this three, four years".

"So the fact that I made it to the quarter-finals and played some really good matches and I just competed as hard as I could, I mean [there's] a lot to be proud of. I hope that we have many more in the future - with a different end".

"Well I don't know", Williams said of how she engineered the turnaround.

"And, above all, the drive is better in general".

I suffered, that's the right word.

. "I have to try and consolidate that good feeling I had on serve in the second set and I finished serving well as well".

A key for Nadal, who should have beaten Thiem in four sets, has been to manage his various ailments such as his knees, and the groin problem that hindered him in the early part of the season. Stephens played the second set with the sun pounding down on her, and the announcers said that only three games all tournament had been won in the sun.

"She's playing with the same power". Happy for him that he's in quarter-finals here. "But I don't play dropshots when I see the player struggling or bending over, no", Sevastova told reporters.

"Yeah, in some way he deserves to be where he is".

It did take Williams a little while to get going as she pursues a seventh US Open title.

There is one new element to this match - it's the first on hard courts.

As expected with two big servers break chances were few and far between, Isner managing just three in the entire match and unable to convert any, while Del Potro had 11 opportunities cashing in on three, including one to close out the match. "Have been a very tough start for me". And it'll make Friday's semifinal that much sweeter.

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