Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Defending U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens knocked out in quarters

Defending U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens knocked out in quarters

Tuesday's clash will provide a new chapter for the duo and Nadal is looking forward to the challenge.

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"We know each other well, we know each other's games well".

"Unfortunately during this tournament I had many issues with my health, and today was not my day obviously".

The last time was in 2009 when he reached the semi-finals of Roland-Garros and then won the US Open.

Serving for the match at 5-3 Williams didn't allow any room for doubt, holding at love with two aces and an overhead smash followed by one last ace. Mentally, physically, I just wasn't connecting.

"What is important about this match is the level of tennis", said Nadal.

Although Nadal delivered a higher number of first serves, Thiem won all points on his successful first serves and faced no break threat while he converted three.

Playing in punishing heat and humidity, with a sinus infection that has plagued her since the tournament began, Stephens shied away from excuses, saying she just didn't play well enough to win.

She pushed some balls a few feet past the baseline, often failing to make Osaka do anything special to win a point and finishing with 31 unforced errors. "I was struggling also a little bit".

"I would never have forgiven myself if I had lost that match", said a tearful Osaka.

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"And, above all, the drive is better in general". I think now it's something really cool, something to look forward to. I didn't play my best.

The match was tense to say the least.

"I mean, he's a great guy". Very good relationship with him.

Djokovic reached the quarter finals with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over unseeded Joao Sousa.

"I think we nearly all the time have great matches".

"Yeah, in some way he deserves to be where he is. We both felt exhausted in the end, we both fought all the match, and I think I survived with my serves in a couple of important moments of the match, and that was the only key".

Only once in the professional era that began in 1968 had Japan had a men's and women's player in the quarterfinals at the same tournament.

"I try not to put too much emphasis on defending the title, just try to come in and win as many matches as possible - keep playing, keep going".

Thiem's wayward overhead smash handed the match to Nadal, who stood midcourt with his head thrown back and arms raised in the air in celebration.

"I think that I have very powerful ground strokes, and I can even hurt him with them. I was not feeling well", 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.

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