We’re halfway through the US Open and the first set of quarter-finals for Tuesday are all set. The first player into the last eight was Sloane Stephens, who beat Julia Goerges, 6-3 3-6 6-1 to reach her first Slam quarter-final since Wimbledon 2013. The key to the outcome was Stephens being the more solid of the pair with Goerges committing too many wild errors.
Stephens won the big points in her last match against Barty and this was the case in the opening set against Goerges – Stephens saved three break points at *2-2 *0-40 and then converted on one of her own in the next game, riding the break to win the opener, 6-3.
Stephens had break points in Goerges’s first service game in the second set but couldn’t convert, ballooning a short ball highhh and longggg on a break point. The momentum swung as Goerges held and then broke serve, converting on her fifth break point of the match with an overhead winner. Goerges was always the more aggressive of the pair and finally it began to pay dividends in the second set as she found the court more often than not with her lethal forehand. Goerges held onto the break for the rest of the set with Stephens, slowly but surely, coming back from the brief dip.
The third set was much like the first as Goerges faded in a sea of wild errors. Stephens didn’t do anything flashy – she was a tad more positive and kept things really solid, hitting just 4 unforced errors to Goerges’s 13.
I’m gutted for Julia who still can’t quite make that breakthrough at a Slam – she is now 0-5 in last 16 matches. Still, a great run this summer and if she keeps putting herself in these positions then i’m sure it will eventually break her way.
The number 16 seed, Anastasija Sevastova came from a set down to beat Maria Sharapova, 5-7 6-4 6-2 and reach back-to-back quarter-finals at the US Open. This was one of those matches where you could appreciate the quality of Sevastova’s game, which is a delight to watch when on.
Sharapova edged a tight opening set, ultimately rewarded for controlling the rallies and finishing with a pair of fab returns. Sevastova was passive and relying mostly on retrieval., too far behind the baseline to have much of an impact. The Latvian player was much more positive in the second set with better placement and depth on her strokes, and winning the battle of the drop shots and most points up at the net. Sharapova tried to be aggressive coming forward but all too often retreated after failing to put the ball away. Her forehand drive volley leaked errors as the match went on.
Sharapova had her chances to break back in the second set and threw the kitchen sink at Sevastova who clung on to force a decider. Sharapova took a lengthy break after the second set and had a medical time-out midway through the decider for a blister on her hand. Sevastova was in the zone and despite one loose game to lose her double break, she refocused impressively and eventually wore down an increasingly erratic, Sharapova.
Sevastova-Sharapova was a good match. One of the highlights was the point linked below as Sharapova’s defence held up against Sevastova’s craftiness.
So the first of the quarter-finals will see a first-time match-up between Anastasija Sevastova and Sloane Stephens – a huge opportunity for both players!
While I was asleep…
Venus Williams beat Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-3 3-6 6-1 to advance to her 12th US Open quarter-final.
Finalist – R4 – Finalist – QF*… Venus’s run at the Slams this year has been sensational.
Happy Birthday to Carla!
Peta Kvitova scored her first top ten win since returning to the tour, beating Garbiñe Muguruza, 7-6(3) 6-3.
Petra is just amazing. It’s really hard to put into words how incredible she is and it’s easy to take granted what she has achieved since coming back from the career threatening hand injury.
Petra forehand! 😍
Garbiñe in press. All in all, an excellent summer for her.
The second quarter-final will see Venus play Petra – oh my goodness I am so excited for this match-up. All five of their previous matches have gone their distance and in particular, their last three have been absolute stunners. I‘m currently reliving that Wimbledon third rounder from 2014!
A few press conference videos from the US Open on Saturday…
Karolina Pliskova didn’t seem too concerned about the forearm injury that bothered her during a come-from-behind three set win over Zhang Shuai.
Here’s a very disappointed Naomi Osaka after her third round loss to Kaia Kanepi 😢.
A preview for the fourth round match between Elina Svitolina and Madison Keys is now up on the blog.
A trio of polls for the remaining fourth round matches on Monday – come on Lucie and Dasha!
And finally, here’s my week 1 bake from GBBO 2017 – i’ll be trying something new each week! I made chocolate mini rolls, which was the technical bake. I’ve linked a picture of my second batch which came out really well and with a surprisingly decent swirl. Head to my Twitter for a picture of the first batch which didn’t quite go to plan… 😂😂😂