Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sloane Stephens wilts in straight sets in sweltering U.S. Open quarterfinals

Sloane Stephens wilts in straight sets in sweltering U.S. Open quarterfinals

Pliskova is a big server and hitter in her own right, someone who briefly spent time at No. 1 in the WTA rankings and was the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2016, when she beat Williams in the semifinals. Her shots lacked their usual sting, her attitude its usual conviction.

"Serena's one of the best players in the world", Pliskova said after the match.

Williams wants this title so badly she can probably taste the silver polish on the trophy. An extreme heat policy that grants an extra 10-minute break mid-match has been in effect for all men's and women's singles matches since the start of play Tuesday.

Williams had trailed 4-2 in the first set but ran out a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victor on Tuesday night.

In 2017, Williams played the Australian Open and won the title without dropping a set - and perhaps that might have been impressive enough, if not for the fact that at the time she was also two months pregnant with her now one-year-old daughter, Olympia.

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Osaka: 'It means a lot, but for me I feel like I was much more emotional for the quarters. "I'm just on my way (back) on the tour and doing the best I can".

"Quarters was my mental goal, every time I played a Grand Slam". I'm really happy to be in the semi-final'. "But regardless, this has been a great road".

Defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens was dumped out in the quarter-finals after losing 6-2 6-3 to Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in sweltering conditions.

Williams did drop her serve once in the second, coughing up one of her five double faults on break point as Pliskova narrowed the gap to 4-1. "I don't think there's any change with her game", Pliskova said.

A seventh US Open title would see the American equal Margaret Court's Grand Slam haul but Williams has lost her last two semi-finals in NY. In other words: It's time to stop hedging predictions and start expecting Williams to win this tournament and tie Margaret Court's all-time record for major wins.

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Williams, finally having found her game and kept it rolling into the second set.

Pliskova, who managed to convert just two of 12 break point chances in the contest, said Williams was simply too good in the important moments. "I know she can be off". "I need to find some solutions.maybe some more drop shots". Pliskova rued the last big chance to come back into the match, Serena sealed the win with an ace.

Sevastova, who retired in 2013 because of injuries and returned almost two years later, advanced to her first Slam semifinal.

Serena struck 17 winners to 5, had 22 errors to 12, but the difference on serve and return.

In response, Nike, who designed the outfit for the tennis star, replied with a succinct rejoinder: "You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can't take away her superpowers".

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