2017 champ Stephens sets up US Open QF rematch

Sloane Stephens US Open

"It's a big opportunity for both of us".

The 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia stunned defending champion Sloane Stephens from the United States 6-2, 6-3 in the U.S. Open women's singles quarterfinals here on Tuesday.

"I'm going to watch the match [between Williams and Pliskova in Tuesday's night session]".

It was a classic Sloane Stephens shot that appeared tohave shown itself at the end part of the match instead of from the beginning. She spent two years studying leisure management but returned to tennis once she felt fully healthy.

"But now, obviously when you win more you have higher goals".

"But in the end it's incredible, yes? After I stop at some point I will look at it and I will be proud of myself for sure".

Throughout the match Stephens complained about the heat and there were some questions as to whether or not the players should have stayed on.

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 is one of the wiliest players on tour, mixing up slices, spins and angles and generally making life very uncomfortable for a player like Stephens who feeds off consistency of pace.

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Stephens hit 27 unforced errors and lost 6-2 6-3 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

She broke again to go up 2-0 in the second set before Stephens, pleading with herself to fight, broke back. 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.

"Not because I didn't know my game was there, it was because of the moment", she said.

Certainly was. And that chase-down, tunaround, hook-shot of a passing victor just showed a glimpse of how the No. 3 can go from defense to offense with flair, as she did repeatedly during her 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 15 Elise Mertens of Belgium in the fourth round.

"It was a really tough day and the heat didn't make it anymore fun".

"I think it will be a good match", Stephens added.

She was cruising through her quarter of the draw until a bad sinus infection, sweltering playing conditions and the tenacious Sevastova got the better of her in the last eight.

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

"There's four more tournaments left. I'm playing solid. I just have to keep that in mind, just try to keep going".

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