Maria Sharapova knocked out while Venus Williams advances at US Open

Trevor Jackson
September 4, 2017

Now into the fourth round after beating Sofia Kenin on Friday night, she will next face No. 17-seed Anastasija Sevastova, who she'll face for the first time in her career.

Defeated by Ekaterina Makarova on an outside court in the second round, former world number one Wozniacki lashed organisers for scheduling Sharapova at Arthur Ashe Stadium in her opening matches.

Playing her first grand slam since the 2016 Australian Open, having tested positive for a banned substance at Melbourne Park a year ago, Sharapova overcame Kenin 7-5 6-2 in NY on Saturday (AEST). "I think it's questionable allowing - no matter who it is - a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week". "I had to stay pumped up and run and make her work for every point. She was playing one of the best matches here".

Sharapova used her defensive skills to get three break points which she would later convert with a dropshot to lead 3-1.

That followed qualifying efforts which failed in both Cincinnati and New Haven, but she has played high-quality tennis in the first two rounds to overcome opponents who would generally have been thought to have her number.

Sharapova is a five-time Grand Slam champion, but she is unseeded here with a ranking that has tumbled to No. 146 following her suspension.

"I'm not sure where she (Wozniacki) is", shot back Sharapova, adding she would be happy to play in the parking lot if that is where she was scheduled. "But I was there mentally and fought a lot at the right moments", said Nadal under the Arthur Ashe roof as rain fell outside.

Sevastova, a quarter-finalist in NY also in 2016, said she was happy to see Sharapova playing again and that she felt no desire to prove a point on behalf of her peers. But her lack of match play over the past year and a half finally caught up with her.

Carreno Busta, who has not dropped a set, ended Canadian 18-year-old qualifier Denis Shapovalov´s dream run 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3).

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Garbine Muguruza cantered into the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova to set up an exciting clash with Petra Kvitova. Like Sharapova, Kenin moved from Russian Federation to Florida to further her playing career.

"I don't think I was as aggressive or stepping in as much as I did in the first set", Sharapova said.

"(The injury) played a quite significant part, and just being injured and not being able to keep that good form", Cilic said.

The 16th-seeded Sevastova is back in the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second straight year.

The Spaniard's effort to level the match cost her, however, and Williams played with more accuracy in the decider as Suarez Navarro grew frustrated before capitulating.

"I know it's exciting for any tournament director to have Sharapova in the draw".

Fast forward to 2017 and Sharapova has no plans to walk away from tennis. "It has been a really great ride". I will try my best. "In the tie-breaks I just played ideal".

A nimble counter puncher whose retrieving would sometimes have Andy Murray purring his approval, Sevastova rebounded impressively to take advantage of Sharapova's error count and broke for 2-1 in the second set.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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