Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) vs.  Maria Sharapova (RUS)
The variety of shots in the Latvian’s arsenal was the undoing of the Russian. The first set could have gone either way as it was a tightly contested affair with each player breaking once early; however, serving to force a tiebreak, Sevastova played a sloppy game to get broken at 15-40, giving the first set to Sharapova.
Down a set, how would the Latvian respond? She has a tendency to get negative and lose her focus when things go awry; yet, she remained positive today. Despite a running monologue with her team expressing her frustration at the errors in her game, Sevastova stay focused on her plan. She used the slice and her drop shots to frustrate the Russian and Sharapova’s lack of fitness became apparent. An early break in the second was all she needed to secure the set.
After dropping the second set, Sharapova took her usual bathroom break and came back to quickly fall behind 0-3. The fatigue became apparent by her lack of movement and the increased number of errors off her racquet was the result. She was not going to find a way back in this match no matter how badly she wanted to because Sevastova was consistent in her attack and almost perfect in the execution of her plan. The Latvian was relentless and earned the 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
For the second year in a row, Sevastova makes it to the quarterfinals of the US Open. Perhaps it’s not the Latvian everyone expected; however, she has done well here before and it should not be surprising that she was able to back up last year’s result with another quarterfinal appearance. She will play the resurgent American, Sloane Stephens, in the quarterfinals for her first major semifinal.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Bing search (Zimbio/Ubitennis)