U.S. Open 2017: Sloane Stephens outlasts Anastasija Sevastova, reaches semifinal

By The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 5, 2017 at 10:08 PM
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American Sloane Stephens reached the U.S. Open semifinals for the first time by outlasting Anastasija Sevastova in Tuesday's quarterfinal match at New York.

The unseeded Stephens corralled a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) decision in the two-hour, 29-minute tussle to record her 13th victory in the past 15 matches.

The win was the biggest of Stephens' career and it comes just two-plus months since she returned to the tour following a major foot injury.

"I'm getting teary eyed," Stephens said in a post-match interview. "This is just incredible, honestly. When I started my comeback at Wimbledon, I could have never even dreamed of something like this happening.

"Making the semifinals in my home (Grand) Slam, my favorite tournament, is indescribable."

Stephens will face either American Venus Williams or Czech Petra Kvitova in the semifinals.

Stephens won the first set before Sevastova, the 16th seed from Latvia, controlled the second.

Sevastova jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the third set before Stephens recovered to win four of the next five games. Sevastova eventually forced the tiebreak and hurt her chances with a couple hitting errors while Stephens played crisp tennis.

"I just told myself to keep fighting," Stephens said. "I've been playing so well and so consistent and I've been staying so calm on the court.

"I knew if I just stuck with it and just played my game that I would have a chance and an opportunity and that is just what I did."

Stephens, who had 31 winners against 41 unforced errors, is as surprised as anybody she has reached the U.S. Open semis so quickly after returning from the injury. She admits to having doubts -- recent ones at that.

"Yeah, of course. Like a month ago. Before I started winning a lot of matches, I was really worried," Stephens said. "I was worried about my protected ranking and not having enough tournaments and not being able to play and there were just so many things I was worried about.

"One I just realized that I have it good, my life is good. I play tennis and I have fun every day. That just relieved a lot of stress and I was finally able to play and play loose and play my game and Bam! Here we are, the semifinals."

Sevastova committed 39 unforced errors against just 25 winners.

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