US Open Tennis 2017: Maria Sharapova falls to Anastasija Sevastova

"The first set was very close, it could have gone either way".

On the men's side, 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov will attempt to continue his run through a wide open bottom half of the draw, which has been left without any top 10 seeds, when he kicks off the day's action against Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta. You've got to take it. "Yeah, I'm not sure where she is".

There was nothing wrong with her improvisational skills, Sharapova playing two left-handed forehands - her second and third of the match - in a single point to hold for 4-3. She broke serve in the third game, stood her ground when Sharapova threatened to break back in the eighth and levelled the match with two successive service winners at 5-4. Sevastova knocked out Muguruza and Johanna Konta en route to a surprise quarterfinal a year ago.

"I came in [to New York] not playing a lot of matches", Sharapova said after she was beaten by Sevastova 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday in a grueling, physical, 2-hour, 17-minute match. Didn't have much practice.

"Obviously always disappointing to be on the losing end of things", she said. I mean, there's no other way to explain it.

The Russian was bidding to make the second week of her first Grand Slam since returning from a drugs ban. A surprising number of her peers, some of them marquee names, objected to tournaments awarding her wild cards because of the reason for her absence.

Sharapova hadn't played in a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.

For four matches in a row at this US Open, a player ranked 146 in the world has appeared exclusively on the main court, Arthur Ashe, while lamely protesting she would have happily played in the vehicle park.

All that was obscured when the USTA offered her a wild card along with the kind of billing offered to a Broadway star. After the needlessly long medical timeout, Sevastova looked to have lost focus and had a minor meltdown, two double faults gifting Sharapova the fourth game and a lifeline.

The victor plays either Maria Sharapova or Anastasija Sevastova. "So I came pretty confident".

"You can't replicate that anywhere, especially at a grand slam". In fact, her 6-0, 6-4 win over Garcia was her best performance since returning to the tour. Sevastova had logged just 3:46.

Sharapova tried a bit of everything, even resorting to switching over her racket to hit a few lefty shots.

"Ultimately, I can take a lot from this week", she continued.

But don't sell Sevastova short. Sharapova traffics in power tennis; her serves are rockets, while Sevastova's travel at roughly the speed of the moon orbiting the earth. If Sevastova were a celebrity, it would be as a television chef whose ability to slice and dice dazzles the eye.

Sharapova ended the match with 51 errors to 42 winners as she pressed too hard in trying to break down Sevastova's brilliant defence.

"I don't know how many break points I had before I got the first one", Nadal said.

  • Stacy Allen