Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens kept the home fires burning for Americans at the US Open on Sunday, winning fourth-round matches to move into the quarterfinals and continue the momentum for U.S. women.
The unseeded Stephens continued her surge after only this summer returning from foot surgery, on Sunday upsetting No. 30 seed Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
“When I started playing again at Wimbledon and D.C., I didn’t expect much,” Stephens said. “I was just playing and having fun, having a good time. I’m still playing and having a good time. That’s really all there is to it.”
Goerges in the third set crumbled to 13 unforced errors to three winners while Stephens forced the tempo. Stephens broke for 3-1 then rode out the set.
Stephens in the quarters will meet No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova, who ended the comeback run of 2006 champion Maria Sharapova 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Taken to a number of three-setters this US Open and upsetting No. 2 Simona Halep in the first round, Sharapova’s lack of match practice after coming off injuries inevitably hurt her.
“It’s been a really great ride in the last week,” Sharapova said. “Obviously coming off a loss, 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, and I can be proud of that.”
Venus Williams ground out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro. She had 32 unforced errors to 31 winners.
“I was happy about this match because she wasn’t seeded here, but obviously she knows how to play,” Venus said. “She’s played deep in the majors. She’s won big titles…I know my opponents are going to be better, I need to be better. To be able to be out there and execute things that I wanted, it was a good feeling.”
In the quarterfinals Venus will meet No. 13 Petra Kvitova who upset No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza in the final night match.
It is Kvitova’s second quarterfinal appearance at the US Open, soon after returning from a stabbing injury to her hand.
Monday’s matches at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be (1) Karolina Pliskova vs. Jennifer Brady, (20) CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Lucie Safarova, (4) Elina Svitolina vs. (15) Madison Keys, and Kaia Kanepi vs. Daria Kasatkina.
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