US Open Tennis 2017: Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens advance, Sharapova out

First Sloane Stephens, now Venus Williams. The American women are making this a US Open to savor for the home crowd in New York. 

The ageless, older Williams sister reached the US Open quarterfinals for the second time in three years on Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. The 37-year-old American is the oldest woman in the bracket. She owns seven Grand Slam titles, including two in Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001.

She'll be joined there by American Sloane Stephens, who has reached the round of eight for the first time after upsetting No. 30 Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 earlier on Sunday.

Williams, the No. 9 seed, is trying to get to her third Grand Slam final of the season. She lost to her younger sister Serena Williams at the Australian Open and to Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon. Next for Williams will be a showdown against No. 13 Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner, who eliminated reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Sunday night.

This is the most significant victory for Kvitova since she returned to action after needing surgery on her racket-holding hand for cuts from a knife-wielding intruder at her home in the Czech Republic in December.

Elsewhere, Maria Sharapova's remarkable run at the US Open is over. The controversial wild-card entry and former champion was her own worst enemy against No. 16 Anastasija Sevastova on Sunday, falling to the 27-year-old from Latvia, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. 

Sharapova held off match point three times in an error-filled third set but couldn't overcome 51 unforced errors compared to 14 for Sevastova.   

Sevastova overcame her loss in the opening set to claim her second straight quarterfinal berth at the US Open. She'll face American Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, who has reached the round of eight for the first time after upsetting No. 30 Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 earlier on Sunday.

In her first major tournament since returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova was trying to become just the second wild card to reach the quarterfinals. She tried a bit of everything, even resorting to switching over her racket to hit a few lefty shots. Still, the five-time major champion could not quite keep her Grand Slam comeback from a doping suspension going.

This was the third time in her four matches that Sharapova went the distance and she faded down the stretch, while also dealing with a right hand that was treated and taped by a trainer in the final set. Sharapova's miscues kept closing exchanges, and she dropped 13 of the first 14 points in that set.

Sharapova's 51 unforced errors caught up to her Sunday. USATSI

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. She served a 15-month ban for that, returning to the tour this April with a ranking too low to get into Grand Slam events.

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.

But she was able to enter the US Open thanks to a wild card from the U.S. Tennis Association, which then proceeded to put its 2006 champion in Arthur Ashe Stadium every time she played over the past week, drawing strong support from spectators -- and criticism from another former No. 1-ranked woman, Caroline Wozniacki.

Sevastova made Sharapova run a lot by pulling her forward with drop shots or tight angles, then would often deposit follow-up strokes into open spaces. On one point won by Sharapova in the second set, she twice tracked down lobs that she got back over the net by hitting the ball left-handed.

But she could not sustain enough strong play, and Sevastova advanced to the US Open quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.

That's where she will face unseeded Stephens, who reached her first quarter in New York by eliminating No. 30 Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Stephens has won 12 of her past 14 matches, a remarkable run for someone who was off the tour for 11 months because of foot surgery in January.

Earlier Sunday, 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov's entertaining stay ended with a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) loss to 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

Shapovalov was trying to become the youngest male quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows since Andre Agassi in 1988, but he wasted a 5-2 lead and three set points in the opener, and finished with 55 unforced errors.

"Honestly, it was so much fun to be part of that atmosphere and the match and this whole two weeks," Shapovalov said. "You know, it's another life-changing event for me."

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, is the first man to ever face four qualifiers in a row at any Grand Slam tournament and took full advantage. 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.

Sam Querrey never faced a break point and wound up with 55 winners and only eight unforced errors while easily beating 23rd-seeded Mischa Zverev of Germany 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday night. 

He delivered 18 aces and needed only 77 minutes to finish off Zverev, a left-hander who had a shoulder treated by a trainer during the match.

"Felt good out there from the beginning," said Querrey, who had never played a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I felt like even when I was warming up, the ball was coming off clean. I felt like I was going to play well before the first point started."

Querrey, a 29-year-old from California, reached the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at Wimbledon in July, knocking off 2016 champion Andy Murray in the process.

Querrey has now won 16 of his past 19 matches overall.

If he can beat 28th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa next, Querrey would give the host country its first male semifinalist at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick was the runner-up in 2006.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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