Anastasija Sevastova Knocks Out Maria Sharapova from US Open
(September 3, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Maria Sharapova is out of the US Open, losing to the 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the fourth round on Sunday in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sevastova has now reached back-to-back quarterfinals at the US Open.
The 27-year-old Latvian rallied from 7-5 4-1 down.
“I had to stay with her. I had to stay pumped up. I had to run. I had to be physically fit, to get every ball and, yeah, just make her work for every point,” noted the Latvian.
She said that she came back on Sharapova by “mixing up, slice. I couldn’t hit her off the court, that’s for sure, so I had to have a game plan. I had to play a lot of slice, mixing it up, forehand running, so that she moves to her forehand.
“Also serve percentage was very important because she returns 200, 200Ks. Yeah, so basically. But then I saw the highlights of the match, like, all the statistics after the second set. I saw that we play pretty good match, yeah. That helped.”
“I think I allowed the match to become physical,” said the Russian. “I don’t think I played as aggressive or was stepping in as much as I did in the first set, especially in the beginning of the match. She definitely has the matches behind her back. She’s got the variety. She’ll make you hit a lot of balls.
“She likes to play with confidence. She wins a few of those rallies, and all of a sudden the momentum changes. Yeah, I definitely took a few steps back a little bit and gave her the time to dictate play and get more balls back.”
This was Sharapova’s first major tournament since returning from a 15-month doping ban for meldonium. She entered the tournament as a wildcard, given to her by the US Tennis Association.
“It’s been a really great ride in the last week,” Sharapova said. “Obviously coming off a loss, you know, it’s a quick turnaround in order to reflect all the positives that happened in the last eight or nine days.
“But ultimately I can take a lot from this week. It’s great to get that major out of the way. It was an incredible opportunity. I’m very thankful for the opportunity. I did my best.
“I can be proud of that.”
The 30-year-old Sharapova says that she’s taking a lot of positives from this week. “Playing four matches, playing in front of a big crowd and fans. Just competing, you know, being in that competitive environment. That’s what I missed.
“You can’t replicate that anywhere, especially at a Grand Slam. So for me to come out, Monday night was a special night for me. I will always remember it. I’m very grateful to have had that opportunity to bring it.
“As I said, I came in not playing a lot of matches. We all know that. Didn’t have much practice.
“Obviously always disappointing to be on the losing end of things. But, yeah, I mean, reflecting back on the week, I can be happy.”
Sharapova says that she will be playing next in Beijing, the China Open.
Sevastova gave her thoughts about playing Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals:
“She’s playing great. I haven’t seen her play, so I have to check it out on YouTube maybe.
“Yeah, I think she’s tough opponent, for sure. Playing at home also. I know that she has a good forehand. That’s the only thing I know.”