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That's where the 19th-seeded Latvian is headed after toppling defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens on Tuesday to break through to the last four in her third straight appearance in the quarter-finals.

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"I'm going to play doubles tomorrow [Wednesday] - that's my preparation", said 19th seed Sevastova when asked how she will get ready for the biggest match of her career. "If you were to play the same people in a row again and beat all of them again, that would be defending your title".

Williams and Stephens first have to win quarterfinal matches Tuesday. A year ago on her run to the Open title she had to dig out a win in the quarterfinals against Sevastova when down 1-3 in the third set.

Stephens got back on serve from the shade once more but was unable to force a third set, as another break from Sevastova left her serving for the match, which she put to bed at the third time of asking. There were only a few more games that Sevastova had to do in sealing the round and Stephens' unforced errors were part of the problem which kept appearing like an unwanted guest at a celebration. Sevastova, forced out of the game by injuries in 2013 before launching a comeback almost two years later, showed some steely resolve, serving it out on her third match-point opportunity.

US Open 2018: Serena Williams' 'desire has not gone down'
Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams in the latest of a long-time sibling rivalry to advance to Round 3 of the U.S. She hasn't won since and is trying to avoid going without a Grand Slam for the first year since 2011. "I don't practice that".

"But now, obviously when you win more, you have higher goals", she said. "Maybe the top 100".

Nadal was tested in his last two rounds, edging past Karen Khachanov in four close sets in round three, before dropping a set to Basilashvili on Sunday. The Spanish player marked her 30th birthday in style with a memorable 6-4, 6-3 win over the five-time Grand Slam champion whose last Grand Slam win was in Paris in 2014. "Right now you're so in the tournament and you don't feel it. And when you're winning a tournament, you think that's normal". "After I stop at some point I will look at it and I will be proud of myself for sure". When you go to a tournament, it starts all over again.

As endearing as Sevastova's comeback story is, she faces probably the toughest prospect in women's tennis: Serena Williams. Even when I did have my break opportunities, I just wasn't playing the points well at all.

"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals".


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