Defending champ Stephens ousted from US Open

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Sloane Stephens saw her hopes of defending her U.S. Open title go up in smoke on Tuesday as Anastasija Sevastova progressed to the semifinals on a red-hot day in NY.

"I would say the first really epic match that I played". "It was tough to play".

She earned the last of five breaks in the second set to take a 5-3 lead and served it out on her third match point when a tired Stephens put a backhand into the net. "I was thinking, 'You know, I can play better.' So that was the good news", she said.

If Monday was "prime-time upset time" when Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova wilted under the sweltering heat, fans had more reason to cheer on Tuesday after Serena Williams defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3.

It was quite a point, one that showed off the best of Sloane Stephens' versatile game, and so a reporter began recounting what happened to the defending U.S. Open champion after she won Sunday night to get back to the quarterfinals. It's back to the drawing board for the number 3 player and onto the next tournament be it in Chicago, Quebec City, onto the Asian Swing, the WTA Finals or others.

Serving for the match, the Latvian raced out to triple match point and although Stephens saved two of them, Sevastova sealed the win when the 25-year-old American pushed a backhand into the net.

"Thank you very much everybody for staying here tonight", Nadal said after the four hour, 49 minute marathon.

The 29-year-old is in his third semi-final at the US Open and sixth at the majors.

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When Sevastova returned to tennis in 2016, she stunned experts and players alike at Flushing Meadows when she beat 13th seed Johanna Konta of Britain to reach the quarter-finals.

"It will be, for me, a dream to play again on Arthur Ashe, for sure, and to play Serena, because obviously last match we played, I won", Pliskova said.

There were signs the Latvian, seeded 19, was getting nervous as unforced errors crept into her game.

After Cilic evened the match by taking the fourth following a 10-minute break for heat, Nishikori was on the verge with running away with the fifth, holding a break point for a 5-1 lead. In a dramatic final set, Nadal saw five break points come and go before Thiem went long with a smash on the first match point.

"Never, never, never. I'm the type of person, if the ball goes over my head, I'm like, 'Whatever, ' in practice". She broke Stephens twice in the opening set, including at love in the final game.

"I lost my nerves a little bit", Sevastova admitted.

Wimbledon will be the most adamant of the four in resisting moves to extend legal coaching during matches, but there is likely to be more agreement on ditching the idea of reducing the number of seeds from 32 to 16.

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