Anastasija Sevastova is now in unknown territory. With a 6-4, 7-5 win Sunday over Johanna Konta, the 13th seed, she is now in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, farther than she has ever been in a Grand Slam.
“I still cannot believe it,” Sevastova said. “Mentally I’m spent. Totally spent. But it’s amazing.”
Sevastova bowed out of tennis in 2013 with back injuries and muscle issues and returned in 2015. The Latvian is ranked 48th in the world, an accomplishment in itself. This was her second victory in Ashe Stadium, having taken No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza there. And that’s likely where she will play her quarterfinal against Caroline Wozniacki.
“I think I’m playing better in my second career,” Sevastova said. “I’m handling pressure sometimes better than before. It’s always thought to finish the match, but I think I’m handling it better.”
Vinci marches on
Despite struggling through injuries, Roberta Vinci has reached the quarterfinals after a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko, who seemed to be battling a leg problem of her own. Vinci made a surprise run to the final last year with a shocking victory over Serena Williams in the semifinals before losing to Flavia Pennetta in the final. She’s on course for another surprising run here.
First, the 33-year-old has to deal with her body. “I have some problem with my tendon, left leg,” she said. “A little bit of pain in my back. I don’t want to think about this injury.”
She does think about how well she has played at the Open, even if she doesn’t know why.
“Maybe the courts, maybe the atmosphere, maybe the crowd,” Vinci said. “I always play so good here . . . I don’t know why, but I love to play here in the States.”
Elbow trouble doesn’t slow Djokovic
Novak Djokovic’s right elbow was treated by a trainer in the third set of an otherwise matter-of-fact, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, victory over Kyle Edmund on Sunday night that put the defending champion in the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the 10th consecutive year. Djokovic was finally forced to play another full match after competing for a total of 31 minutes over the preceding five days because of injuries to his opponents in the second and third rounds. And while Djokovic looked quite good for the first two sets and at the very end, there was that interlude that included the medical visit. Ahead 2-0 in the last set, Djokovic got broken, starting a stretch of three games in a row for the 84th-ranked Edmund. Djokovic had his elbow massaged at a changeover; a trainer worked on his right arm in the first round. — AP