In normal circumstances a wildcard being eliminated by the 16th seed would barely be a story at all, but Maria Sharapova is no ordinary wildcard. He is the highest-seeded player left on his side of the draw and faces No. 16 Lucas Pouille of France or No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina next. And that's helped shape comeback stories and breakthrough performances as we turn the corner into the second week of the final Grand Slam of the year.
Denis Shapovalov will have to go five sets for the first time in his career to extend his U.S. Open run.
For all the arguments about her treatment here, the 30-year-old Russian provided value for money and provided four fascinating matches before bowing out, seemingly running out of steam at the end, having had precious little match practice coming in.
Sharapova hadn't played in a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov had trouble recovering after blowing a 5-2 lead in the first set. It seems like a bad year to be seeded.
Sevastova overcame a tight first set loss to win the final two and claim her second straight quarterfinal berth at the US Open.
24-year-old American Stephens missed almost a year due to a left foot injury and returned just under two months ago at Wimbledon, climbing from No. 934 in the rankings to No. 83 before the tournament.
Denis Shapovalov and Pablo Carreno Busta have the U.S. Open stage to themselves for the morning. "Yeah, I'm not sure where she is".
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Last December, Kvitova had her hand slashed when an intruder held her at knifepoint in her Czech apartment.
The French Open denied her a wild-card invitation, then she planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon before pulling out because of an injured left leg.
Now settled into the fourth round in Flushing Meadows thanks to yet another error-strewn but, ultimately, doggedly determined win on Friday night (she beat Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-2), the former champion and former world No.1 is lapping up the attention and loving every moment of her return to the spotlight.
Sharapova ended the match with 51 errors to 42 winners as she pressed too hard in trying to break down Sevastova's brilliant defence. That's what Sharapova has shone a light on as she has battled past tough rivals - starting with World No 2 Simona Halep - in the past three rounds.
"Tennis has its fair share of giants, from 6'11" skyscraper Ivo Karlovic, to 6'10" John Isner or Reilly Opelka.
"I don't know how many break points I had before I got the first one", Nadal said. Hop on the bandwagon while there's still time.
No. 9 seed Williams plays Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, after Sharapova meets 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. They aren't just alive in the tournament-they've actually looked pretty sturdy compared to most of the field!