American Gauff continues juniors run at US Open

Reigning champion Stephens too strong for Mertens in New York

She made her way into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Elise Mertens on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday night that was a bit more hard than the score indicated, but it was a solid effort. It just was a really tough day.

The Latvian, who retired from tennis five years ago due to injuries and illness before returning in 2015, can expect another stern challenge on Thursday, in the form of 23-time grand slam singles champion Williams or Pliskova, another former world number one.

The third seed struggled throughout on what is expected to be the hottest day of the US Open, failing to take her chances as Sevastova coped better with the challenging conditions. Mentally, physically, I just wasn't connecting. You've got to play.

The match on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon was a rematch.

Sloane Stephens of the United States hits a return during the women's singles quarterfinal match against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia at the 2018 US Open tennis championships in NY, the United States, Sept. 4, 2018.

Osaka, seeded 20, came back from a break down in the final set to take the tie on a fourth match point when Sabalenka served up an eighth double fault.

"You have to appreciate it more", she said.

"I was thinking, okay, maybe a couple of years, play top 100".

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Sevastova said: "It was an unbelievable journey, this three, four years".

The 19th-seeded Latvian said the rigours of the tournament at flushing Meadows have not given her a moment to consider the long odds she overcame to regain her competitive form.

Playing in her third straight quarterfinals at the US Open - she had lost at that stage the previous two editions-the 28-year-old Sevastova looked primed for the big stage.

The Australian meets Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals while Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem to set up a semi-final showdown with Juan Martin del Potro.

"But in the end it's incredible, yes?"

"But now, obviously when you win more you have higher goals. After I stop, I will look back and be proud of myself, I am 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. "But anyway it's a good stat, it's something positive, it's something that shows I've been competitive on all surfaces in practically all the weeks I've played this year, and I'm happy about it".

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