Sharapova's US Open ends; Williams faces Kvitova in quarters
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Sep 04, 2017,
Sep 04, 2017, 11:09
An increasingly erratic Sharapova littered the court with more than three times as many errors, coming 18 of her 51 errors in the final set.
The Russian gave an early indicator of her desire when she won a gutsy point after rushing back and changing hands to return a cross-court volley with a lob in game three.
Maria Sharapova reached the fourth round of her first major in 19 months before bowing out Sunday.
Sharapova hadn't played in a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.
In April next year, Sharapova will be 31 and she admitted that she has even surprised herself to be still playing even considering her enforced absence from the sport.
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.
Sharapova began the tournament with an impressive three-set victory over world No 2 Simona Halep, but faced a player who mixed an all-court game with excellent movement to counteract the added power in her opponent's baseline hitting. "It helped me a lot because I knew I could play well here". It was an incredible opportunity.
A win would put Stephens, who was out for 10 months after foot surgery, into her first US Open quarterfinal.
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"With regards to scheduling, as you know, I don't make the schedule", Sharapova told reporters. Sharapova issued a walkover because of a left arm injury before her next match.
"I can take a lot of examples from champions that are still playing, competing, and doing incredibly well, and that's inspiring".
The fifth seed grumped to Danish TV: "I understand completely the business side of things and everything, but someone who comes back from a drug sentence and performance-enhancing drugs and then all of a sudden gets to play every single match on centre court, I think that's a questionable thing to do".
"I think I allowed the match to become physical", she said.
In a freakish fourth-round contest, the Argentine reeled off the last five games after being treated for a leg issue to oust 16th-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 2-6 6-2. "I'm very grateful to have had that opportunity to bring it".
"I honestly couldn't have asked for a better comeback", Stephens said. "You can't replicate that anywhere, especially at a Grand Slam".
Playing just her fifth match since May, Sharapova was treated for apparent blisters early in the third set as 16th-seeded Sevastova surged into the quarter-finals in NY for the second year in a row.
Kvitova's only other trip to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows came in 2015, when she lost at that stage to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta. "I can be proud of that".
From there, Sevastova imposed her game.