Sloane Stephens v Elise Mertens: US Open women's singles

Tennis US Open

Tennis US Open

Sloane Stephens' run at a second straight US Open crown is over. The last games, it was good that I played in the shade.

Sevastova, who retired from tennis in 2013 due to injuries before returning in 2015, almost let Stephens into the match in the second set as the American twice pulled back on serve at 2-1 and again at 4-3, but the fightback proved short-lived.

With temperatures hovering above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2°C), and the tournament's extreme heat policy in effect for a second consecutive day, Sevastova broke an error-prone Stephens to go 3-1 ahead and never looked back. "The first set was so important", said Sevastova.

Stephens disputed the concept of being a defending champion after her fourth round win over rival Elise Mertens, and stood by her theory on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old American, who struggled after her triumph last year, came in as the heavy favourite to defeat her opponent in a rematch of her three-set victory in the same round at Flushing Meadows last year.

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Twice victor Djokovic will meet unseeded Joao Sousa, who is appearing in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, on Arthur Ashe stadium.

She will play the victor of Tuesday's night match between Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

Stephens beat Sevastova in the same round previous year en route to her first Grand Slam title, but she missed numerous chances to grab an early lead in the rematch and could never get back into the match.

Expectations that the US Open quarter-finals would bring together last year's finalists were shredded on Sunday when Rafael Nadal won after a struggle and Kevin Anderson was a courageous but exhausted loser in matches of stark contrast.

Williams, seeded 17th, meets the last player to beat her at the U.S. Open.

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