US Open comeback brought to a halt for Maria Sharapova

US Open comeback brought to a halt for Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova's first Grand Slam tournament in 19 months ended with defeat by Anastasija Sevastova in the US Open fourth round.

This was only Sharapova's fifth tournament since her comeback from a 15-month doping ban in April because of injury and she exceeded most expectations by getting this far. Yeah, you just have to get through it, " Sharapova said. On one point won by Sharapova in the second set, she twice tracked down lobs that she got back over the net by hitting the ball left-handed.

This was the third time in her four matches that Sharapova went the distance and she faded down the stretch, while also dealing with a blister on her right hand that was treated and taped by a trainer in the final set. "Mentally, I fought a lot until that moment, then I think I played better".

Sharapova had looked good in her first three wins in NY, her first Grand Slam since returning from a performance-enhancing drugs suspension.

"For sure from previous year, I only have great memories here", she said.

But Sevastova proved a step too far as Sharapova, who is now ranked No146 in the world, racked up 51 unforced errors compared to her opponent's 14. Since then she has notched a three-set win over Timea Babos and a straight set win over 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin, but in neither match did she look as sharp as she did in her opener. It was an incredible opportunity. That's where she will face unseeded American Sloane Stephens, who reached her first Open quarter by eliminating Julia Goerges, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Just competing, you know, being in that competitive environment", Sharapova said, "that's what I missed.

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Sevastova wobbled when she dropped serve on a double fault in the fourth game but quickly regained her composure. While Nadal had to recover from a set down for the second consecutive match, Federer, for the first time in his career had to endure back-to-back five setters in the first two rounds of a Grand Slam.

Sharapova noted that she was training her attention on returning to a lifestyle where wild card gifts are not necessary to play before the biggest crowds.

Williams took the first set against Navarro without issue at 6-3, but was broken on her first serve in the second set. Her last major tournament was the Australian Open in January 2016.

"I allowed the match to become physical", Sharapova said about the late-going. "I had big back problems, some muscular problems, all the time getting fit then injured again - I was not happy, so I made a decision to stop and see how my body reacted".

Kvitova's only other trip to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows came in 2015, when she lost at that stage to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta. "I did feel like I was thinking a little bit too much and not playing by instinct".

In a weird fourth-round contest, the Argentine reeled off the last five games after being treated for a leg issue to oust 16th-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 2-6 6-2. Obviously, it's always disappointing to be on the losing end of things.

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