The 2017 U.S. Open semifinals began taking shape Tuesday in New York City as quarterfinal play started in the men's and women's singles draw.
Pablo Carreno Busta faced off with Diego Schwartzman to get things underway, and Sloane Stephens closed out the afternoon against Anastasija Sevastova. Venus Williams beat Petra Kvitova in the evening, and Kevin Anderson outlasted Sam Querrey in a four-set match that featured three tiebreaks.
Below are the scores from Tuesday and a recap of the matches.
(12) Pablo Carreno Busta def. (29) Diego Schwartzman; 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
(28) Kevin Anderson def. (17) Sam Querrey; 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7)
Sloane Stephens def. (16) Anastasija Sevastova; 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4)
(9) Venus Williams def. (13) Petra Kvitova; 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2)
Day 9 Recap
Schwartzman beat Lucas Pouille in his previous match despite dealing with a leg injury. That injury may have troubled him more Tuesday as he fell in straight sets to Carreno Busta.
A rally during the fifth game of the second set illustrated Schwartzman's struggles against the 26-year-old Spaniard. Schwartzman had Carreno Busta playing defense for much of the point but couldn't put him away. Carreno Busta won the point by hitting a difficult forehand down the line for the winner.
The U.S. Open's official Twitter account shared a replay of the exchange:
Schwartzman's 21 winners were nine fewer than Carreno Busta, while he had 35 unforced errors. He also struggled mightily on second serve, winning six of his 27 first-service points. Carreno Busta earned eight break-point opportunities, converting on six.
"It's incredible. It's something that I always dreamed of, but never thought I could arrive here," Carreno Busta said in his post-match interview with ESPN (via the ATP World Tour's official site). "I'm very excited to be in the semifinals in this tournament."
Stephens will be joining him in the semifinals after beating Sevastova in three sets.
Things weren't looking good for Sevastova early in the match. She was trailing 2-5 in the first set and had the trainer working on her right thigh during a lengthy timeout. Jimmie48 Photography shared a photo of the 27-year-old getting tended to:
Sevastova shook off whatever ailed her in the second set. She broke Stephens' serve in the fourth game and took a commanding 4-1 lead before leveling the match.
Sevastova broke Stephens again in the third game of the third set to go ahead 3-1. Stephens held serve and earned a service break over the next two games to tie the set, and it was a tight affair from there. Stephens gained a 3-1 edge in the tiebreaker, which helped her seal a 7-4 win and advance to the semis.
The U.S. Open provided a replay of match point:
The final stats illustrate how little separated Stephens and Sevastova. Stephens had 31 winners and 41 unforced errors, while Sevastova had 25 and 39, respectively. The two also had four service breaks apiece.
Distance traveled was one area in which Stephens had a decided advantage. She ran less than seven feet per point than Sevastova. Stamina becomes an issue in a three-set match, and that might have been a problem when Sevastova was trying to close things out in the deciding frame.
She will now face Williams in the semifinal after the latter used a clutch performance in the third-set tiebreak to outlast Kvitova.
It looked as if Williams would cruise to a victory with a 6-3 performance in the first set, but Kvitova bounced back in the second and won by the same score. The two top-15 ranked players battled to a tiebreak in the third, but the seven-time major winner won seven of the nine points with the match on the line.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out the company Williams joined with her outing:
The evenly fought match largely came down to unforced errors. According to the tournament's official website, Kvitova tallied 45 to Williams' 29. That was ultimately too much to overcome, and Williams came through in the decisive tiebreak.
The men's side saved a marathon match for last on Tuesday, as Anderson prevailed over Querrey in four sets and two of the three tiebreaks. They weren't straightforward tiebreaks either, with the second one stretching to 11-9 in Querrey's favor and the third one in the final set extending to 9-7 for Anderson.
Each was impressive with the serve with Anderson tallying 22 aces and winning 82 percent of his first-service points and Querrey notching 20 aces and winning 81 percent of his first-service points, per the event's official website.
It came down to the tiebreaks, and Anderson was able to win the clutch points and emerge the victor in the lengthy match.