Friday, 16 November, 2018

Stephens cruises past Mertens and into U.S. Open quarters

Sloane Stephens US Open Stephens targets redemption in Asia after US Open defeat
Edward Snyder | 07 September, 2018, 04:48

He looked as if he wanted to be anywhere but where he was: falling further and further behind against Juan Martin del Potro in muggy, energy-robbing heat at the US Open.

With the heat, humidity and blazing sun combining to make conditions hazardous enough that organizers suspended junior matches, the scraps of shade on the massive Ashe court were invaluable. "I think he was also not on his top level in the first set, for sure not", Thiem said. "It doesn't matter the final result in the tournament".

"I was thinking, okay, maybe a couple of years, play top 100". A year ago he lost a very tough match against Del Potro here.

"I had a shower, lay on the table and I didn't want to come back again". "I made the most of it over the last, whatever, 10 days, whatever it was". I love the competition. That's very special to me. After his second surgery in 2015, he ended the season ranked 581st and missed almost a year.

But del Potro presented all sorts of problems.

"You were here past year, you did something so great - what's going to happen now?"

Rafael Nadal jumped over the net to embrace and apologise to Dominic Thiem following their epic five-set US Open thriller.

He served better, delivered more aces (18-3), committed few double faults (4-4), hit more outright winners (74-55), piled more total match points (171-165) and won more games (28-26). "I have to try and consolidate that good feeling I had on serve in the second set and I finished serving well as well". "It just wasn't to be".




He played back-to-back four-setters against Karen Khachanov and Nikoloz Basilashvili before recovering from breaks down in the third and fourth sets against Thiem.

There were no breaks of serve in the deciding set and a second tiebreak ensued. Worst of all, Isner began to take some half-swings; when he pushed a forehand wide, he got broken to trail 3-1. "If you were to play the same people in a row again and beat all of them again, that would be defending your title".

As one American star lost in the main draw Tuesday, another of the country's rising stars was on display at the U.S. Open.

"I have my trophy at home". "I said to Dominic I am sorry".

It was the first still moment in almost five hours of epic, smash-ball, anything-you-can-hit-I-can-hit-harder tennis. Nishikori said this week that he was nervous once that match began, but this one was nothing like that day.

"I think it will be a good match", Stephens added. I'm going to screw up a lot of things at first, and Maddie will probably get mad at me.

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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