US Open 2017: Sharapova Knocked out by Sevastova

first_imgSharapova, ranked 146th after returning from a doping ban in April, was given a wildcard into the main draw.The 2006 champion had played just one match since May coming into Flushing Meadows, with injuries forcing her out of the grass-court season and US Open build-up.She played superbly to upset world number two Simona Halep on the first day of the tournament, and then beat Timea Babos and Sofia Kenin on her way to the last 16.Sevastova proved too strong, however, the 5ft 5in Latvian’s defensive skills and ability to create angles ultimately derailing the Russian.“The first set was very close, it could have gone either way,” said Sevastova.“She played unbelievable throughout the first and second set and I just kept fighting, running every ball, and just stayed there.”Sharapova ended the match with 51 errors to 42 winners as she pressed too hard in trying to break down Sevastova’s brilliant defence.The Latvian went close to taking the first set after coming back from 4-1 down, but Sharapova clinched it with two magnificent forehands in game 12.The momentum had already begun to swing though, and Sevastova would level thanks to a single break at 2-1 in the second – in one rally lobbing Sharapova twice, prompting the Russian to scramble left-handed in desperation.A six-minute bathroom break ahead of the decider apparently did not have the desired effect as Sharapova quickly fell 3-0 down.She had said after her opening match that “this girl has a lot of grit”, and it was in evidence as she cut the deficit to 3-2, but in the end Sevastova had too much.Sharapova fought off three match points before a big first serve left the five-time major winner flailing at a return that flew wide after two hours and 17 minutes. Maria Sharapova’s first Grand Slam tournament in 19 months ended with defeat by Anastasija Sevastova in the US Open fourth round.Latvia’s Sevastova, the 16th seed, won 5-7 6-4 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in New York.The 27-year-old will play Sloane Stephens in the quarter-finals, after the American beat Julia Goerges. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Chelsea XI v Stoke City – academy graduate to start after agreeing £60k deal?

first_imgChelsea take on Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, kick off 15:00 GMT.The Blues have won their last three domestic outings, closing the gap on fourth-placed Manchester City to just eight points.Nonetheless, their opponents are too enjoying an impressive run of form, having bounced back from their 3-0 defeat to Everton at the beginning of February, and firmly remain in contention for a European spot.FIVE REASONS CHELSEA WILL FINISH IN THE TOP FOURSo, who could Guus Hiddink call upon to extend their winning streak against Mark Hughes’ side?Could Ruben Loftus-Cheek, after signing a new five-year contract at the beginning of the week reportedly worth £60,000 per-week, be awarded a rare start?Take a look at talkSPORT’s predicted Chelsea line up v Stoke by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 10. Eden Hazard (left wing) 13. Thibaut Courtois (goalkeeper) 11 11 11 24. Gary Cahill (centre back) 22. Willian (right wing) 11 11 11 11 28. Cesar Azpilicueta (right back) 4. Cesc Fabregas (centre midfield) 2. Branislav Ivanovic (right back) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 8. Oscar (attacking midfield) 6. Abdul Baba Rahman (left back) 11 11 11 19. Diego Costa (striker) 36. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (centre midfield)last_img read more