Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Stephens gets her revenge over Mertens, Latest Tennis News

Stephens gets her revenge over Mertens, Latest Tennis News

Every round was a round closer for Stephens to defend her U.S. Open title from previous year, but the steaming heat of the New York City summer and the sizzling shots of Sevastova had gotten the best of the number three femal tennis player in the world. Just simple: "Make them play an extra ball and see what happens". It was just a tough day.

The career-best Grand Slam performance for Sevastova comes after she retired from the sport in 2013 because of recurring injuries only to return in 2015.

Asked what he thinks he needs to improve in his game moving forward, the three-time US Open champion said: "I think a little bit the speed of my cross-court".

"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", she said.

The match on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon was a rematch.

Stephens and Sevastova met at the same stage past year, with the American coming from a break down in the final set before winning on a deciding tie-break. Stephens clawed back to 4-3 and had chances to level up but Sevastova's drop shots caught her off guard time and again and a particularly devilish one presented her with the chance to serve for the match.

But even though her first Grand Slam title defence did not work out as she envisioned, the experience will be invaluable to Stephens, who hopes to put in a strong finish to the season.

"I really feel like right now I'm playing free because I was having a baby this time a year ago, so I have nothing to prove", said Williams, who is seeking her first major title since her daughter Olympia was born on September 1 of 2017. It looked good when she broke Mertens to start the second, and wouldn't you know it, she gave it right back in the second.

After taking a 4-1 lead in the second set, Sevastova admitted that memories of last year's quarter-final against Stephens flashed across her mind.

Sevastova said: "It was an awesome journey, this three, four years". And when you're, like, winning a tournament, you think that's normal.

"But in the end it's fantastic, yes?" I was thinking, OK, maybe a couple of years, play top 100. You can't believe. So, after I stop, at some point I will look at it and I will be proud of myself, for sure.

She then dropped her racket and held her hands to her face as a Stephens shot went into the net on the match's final point.

"Either way, against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match".

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