Nadal survives Khachanov epic to reach US Open last 16

Nadal struggled with his movement

Nadal struggled with his movement

Stephens was expecting a battle against two-time Australian Open victor Azarenka, playing on a wild card invitation as she works her way back towards the top after time off to have a child. After shaking hands with Azarenka, Stephens again celebrated that way.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens beat two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the US Open in NY. Nadal has now won 25 of his past 26 matches this year.

"There were some tough moments during the match, but he played aggressive".

"I am going to be at 100% for the next match", he assured reporters.

Stephens had a more concrete answer as to why their head-to-head series now stands at 3-3.

"I was in a tough situation and I am very happy to escape", said Nadal who has now reached the fourth round in NY for the 10th time. "The tables were turned".

Azarenka landed an early break of her own to move 3-1 in front, but that set the tone for a run of three further breaks as Stephens stuck to her task.

A 22-shot rally demonstrated the high quality tennis which had graced the contest, but Stephens absorbed Azarenka's final onslaught to flash a forehand victor at the net and book her place in the last 16. Sponsorships flooded in from Mercedes and Nike, and so did demands on her time; fatigue set in after that.

"Those unforced errors that come out, right now they are costing me matches".

"There's always a lot of extra things that happen after winning".

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Stephens, with Coach Kamau Murray and mother Sybil Smith by her side, leveled out in spring.

The Belgian reached her first Grand Slam semi-final in Australia earlier this year but prior to this week had suffered first-round defeats on both previous visits to the final Grand Slam of the year. She returned to NY to defend her title feeling - and playing - like something closer to a veteran. I have played a lot of tournaments, been in really big moments, and I think just learning from every experience, being in another final, semifinal or quarterfinal.

A dejected Azarenka said she was disappointed with aspects of her performance.

"I served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set but made mistakes". But Stephens knew how to handle the moment. A chunk of the crowd gave a standing ovation. The 21-year-old was competing in a playoff for a wild card into this year's Australian Open when the results came back.

She played Venus in the U.S. Open semifinals a year ago.

The highlight of the night session in the main arena is the 30th tour-level matchup between Serena and Venus Williams. "I'm just happy with the progress I've made".

Spanish tennis participant Rafael Nadal believes that the Russians Karen Hechanova a terrific future in tennis, studies ATP. Sloane Stephens will need to be at her best against the rejuvenated former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka, while Rafael Nadal faces his first real test of the tournament against the rising Russian Karen Khachanov. At last, Nadal managed to win 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3).

He now faces Georgian outsider Nikoloz Basilashvili but denied that the soreness in his knee would have much of an effect this week.

It was Belarusian Azarenka's first appearance at the US Open for three years, having missed the 2016 edition while pregnant and last year's tournament because of a custody battle. The Spaniard finally won it on a spectacular 39-shot rally. "He has everything", said Nadal of Khachanov.

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