Where is Sharapova? Out

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Sep 2017 09:18:32




Eliminated by Latvian Sevastova 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 while Venus, Kvitova advance

MARIA Sharapova’s Grand Slam return after a 15-month doping ban ended with a fourth-round defeat at the US Open but the former world number one considered it a major step in her comeback.
Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova rallied to eliminate the five-time Grand Slam champion 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, booking a quarter-final against American Sloane Stephens, who ousted Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Sharapova, the 2006 US Open winner, was able to find the positives after making 51 unforced errors to only 14 by Sevastova, whose 21 winners were half the 30-year-old Russian’s total.
“Reflecting back on the week, I can be happy,” Sharapova said. “It has been a really great ride. Ultimately, I can take a lot from this week.”
Tuesday’s other quarter-final will match Czech 13th seed Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, against US ninth seed Venus Williams, seeking her eighth Slam title and third US Open crown.

Kvitova eliminated Spanish third seed and two-time Slam winner Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 while Williams beat 35th-ranked Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
In Sharapova’s first Slam since she tested positive for the banned blood booster meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, she ousted second-ranked Simona Halep in the first round and served notice to any contender her game remains formidable.

“She played unbelievable throughout the first and second set and I just kept fighting, running for every ball,” Sevastova said.
“I was confident. I was feeling it. But still you have to beat her. She was playing one of the best matches here.”
Sharapova returned from her suspension in April, was snubbed for a French Open wildcard and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury but received a US Open wildcard despite only one hardcourt tune-up match due to a left forearm injury.

“It’s great to get that major out of the way,” Sharapova said.
Kvitova 4-1 against Venus
Williams is the oldest woman entered at 37 but was this year’s Wimbledon and Australian Open runner-up. She hasn’t reached three Slam finals in a year since 2002.
“I’m focused on myself and trying to be as aggressive as possible,” Williams said. “Nobody ever gives you a Slam. You’ve got to take it and I’m going to try and take it.”
Kvitova, 4-1 all-time against Williams, missed five months after a knife-wielding home intruder injured her left hand last December.

“I worked hard to come back and be here. It means a lot,” Kvitova said.
“I don’t have words to describe. It was a tough time. All five months were very tough.
“It was just a journey I didn’t know how it would end. If it ends here on the big stage it’s a happy end.”

Pliskova breezes past Brady
WORLD number one Karolina Pliskova needed just 46 minutes to defeat American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-0 at Arthur Ashe Stadium and punch her ticket to the quarter-finals. After facing a match point during her third-round battle against Zhang Shuai on Saturday, Pliskova was never pushed by Brady, who failed to find her groove on a sunny day that cast a severe shadow across centre court. Brady struggled mightily with her service game, where she was only able to connect on 39 percent of her first serves compared to Pliskova’s 67 percent. Brady also struggled to read Pliskova’s powerful serve and failed to convert either of her two break point chances.

“I think she was a little bit nervous,” Pliskova said of the 22-year-old Brady during an on-court interview following the match.
“It was her first time on Ashe so I tried to take advantage of that.”
Sania and Bopanna reach quarters, Paes-Raja out
SANIA Mirza and Rohan Bopanna have reached the quarter-finals of their respective events at the US Open but the fledgling partnership of Leander Paes and Purav Raja has fallen flat yet again.

The fourth seeded Indo-Chinese pair of Sania and Shuai Peng overcame a stiff resistance from Sorana Cirstea and Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(2) in the third round of the women’s doubles.

In the mixed doubles, Bopanna and Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, seeded seventh, quelled the challenge from Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Nicholas Monroe 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. Paes and Raja, who joined forces recently, were knocked out of the men’s doubles following a close 4-6, 6-7(7) defeat against the Russian pair of Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev in the second round.