The U.S. Open said goodbye to its reigning champion Tuesday.
Sloane Stephens, last year's U.S. Open women's champion, fell to No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-3. Stephens was expected to go far in this year's tournament, and she came into Tuesday's match having beaten Sevastova in two out of three tries. The two players first met in last year's U.S. Open quarterfinals, when Stephens beat Sevastova on her way to the championship in an excruciatingly tight three-setter.
Unfortunately, the defending champion hasn't been the image of consistency this year — and it showed in her performance against Sevastova. Stephens couldn't put the ball away during crucial long rallies, and the stifling New York heat seemed to be getting the best of her. As a result, Sevastova has now made history as the first Latvian woman to make the U.S. Open semifinals.
The 28-year-old Latvian has made it to the quarterfinals the past two years, but was stopped by Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki, respectively. Now, she will prepare for the seminal, where she will face the winner of Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova's Tuesday showdown. See the highlights from Tuesday's match here. Amari Pollard