Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Austria's Dominic Thiem during their Men's Singles Quarter-Finals match at the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in NY on September 5, 2018.
But the 25-year-old American, who lost her quarter-final against Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets, is not about to lose any sleep over her failed bid at a repeat or let it affect her fighting spirit going forward.
But with either 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams or eighth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova looming, Sevastova said she didn't have time to reflect on her rise in the second phase of her career.
"I think that's what happened today", said Stephens, who said she has been suffering from a sinus infection. "It was tough to play". "I was playing really not a good game", said Williams, who was a point from trailing 4-1 and did fall behind 4-2 while making 22 of her 30 unforced errors in the first set.
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Sevastova took five break points to Stephens' two, as Stephens simply seemed unable to find her footing throughout the match.
Sevastova, ranked 18th in the world, said she did not have many goals when she returned to tennis. "But at the same time, not make too many mistake".
Isner was trying to become the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.
Sloane Stephens, her dream of a US Open title defence in tatters, was looking ahead to the WTA's Asian swing as a chance to regroup and renew her pursuit of the No. 1 world ranking. "Right now you're so in the tournament and you don't feel it".
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She won 59 points to just 28 for the unseeded Ukrainian, who knocked off No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round. But she does cover the court incredibly well and is amongst the hardest players in the sport to hit through.
The 28-year-old Sevastova, who avenged last year's quarterfinal loss to Stephens in NY, converted five of her eight break points and saved seven of the nine against her. "Whoever plays with higher intensity and higher adrenaline on Tuesday, will probably have more options to win".
She will play the victor of Tuesday's night match between Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova in the last four. The Mallorcan lost in the Melbourne quarters, won Roland Garros for an 11th time, and fell to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semis this year. I didn't convert. I didn't play the big points well, and you don't win matches when you don't take your opportunities.
Gauff said she tried both those sports, but found her niche with tennis.
"Defending a title is very hard, very difficult."So I'm not going to dwell on it. On Tuesday, she advanced to her first Grand Slam semi-final. She plays a little bit different than most girls. Now that this tournament is over, my focus is just getting back home and being with her. ...
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Stephens struggled throughout in a match that saw just three of the 17 games played won from the end of the court in the full glare of the sunshine, losing 6-2, 6-3.