Del Potro into last four after gruelling win over Isner
07 September, 2018, 04:51 | Author: Alyssa Little
The world No 1 recovered from a first-set bagel to defeat Thiem and reach the US Open semi-finals following another late-night classic in NY.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal shockingly was shut out in the first set of his U.S. Open quarterfinal before coming back to beat No. 9 seed Dominic Thiem 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) in 4 hours, 49 minutes.
Next up for the 28-year-old is the victor of the evening match between six-time champion Serena Williams and Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova.
"Just like I always say: Get your racket on it. Make a play on the ball".
Sevastova said: "It was very physical today, it was tough to play, it's so hot". Past year on her run to the Open title she had to dig out a win in the quarterfinals against Sevastova when down 1-3 in the third set.
Stephens got back on serve from the shade once more but was unable to force a third set, as another break from Sevastova left her serving for the match, which she put to bed at the third time of asking.
Sevastova, ranked 18th in the world, said she did not have many goals when she returned to tennis.
Three-quarters of Arthur Ashe Stadium was in the sun on another day of more than 90-degree temperatures in NY, and Stephens seemed to lack some of her usual sideline-to-sideline court coverage in the heat.
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". 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.
World number three Stephens, refused to blame the punishing afternoon heat and humidity for her lapses against Sevastova, including an inability to convert any of seven break chances in the opening set.
She will play the victor of Tuesday's night match between Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova in the last four.
She has had her best results in her second career, particularly in NY, where she has now reached the quarter-finals twice and the semi-finals once in the last three years. "I wish I could have played better, but it just wasn't the day". Even when I did have my break opportunities, I just wasn't playing the points well at all. "Enjoy the game." she said.
"We fought the whole match and I survived with my serve which was key". Sevastova, meanwhile, was a ideal two-for-two.
"Obviously defending a title is very hard".
A month earlier, Nadal had cruised past del Potro in straight sets in the semi-finals at Roland Garros on his way to an 11th title in Paris. As usual, he had to do it without the benefit of many cheap points; he hit just three aces, 15 fewer than Thiem. But now I wish him the title the most, that's for sure.
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Nadal had defeated Thiem in the Roland Garros final in June but this was their first meeting away from a clay court. And when quizzed on what he was thinking after being bageled in the opening set, Nadal said: "Wake up, that's all".
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