In Brief

US Open digest: champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens progress

Quarter-final line-up taking shape at Flushing Meadows

Both the men’s and women’s singles defending champions are through to the last-eight of the US Open grand slam.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal took four sets to beat unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-4. Following his victory yesterday, Spaniard Nadal, who will face Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals, said: “I’ve had tough matches in a row. This was a physical one but I feel good.”

Women’s defending champion Sloane Stephens was a 6-3 6-3 winner against Elise Mertens. American Stephens will play Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in the quarter-finals of the tournament, at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Serena Williams is also through to the last-eight, where she will face Karolina Pliskova. Williams told the BBC that despite having given birth just last year, she still has major titles in her sights.

“My desire still remained at that incredibly high level to compete and to want to win,” said the 23-time Grand Slam winner. “It would be wonderful to win a Grand Slam while having a daughter, but it’s a lot of work.

“It takes a lot of work to win those tournaments. I’m only in my third one back. I’m going to continue to grind and see what happens.” 

US Open quarter-finals

How the men’s last eight is lining up so far:

  • R. Nadal (1) vs. D. Thiem (9) 
  • J. del Potro (3) vs. J. Isner (11)

How the women’s last eight is lining up so far:

  • S. Williams (8) vs. Ka Plíšková 
  • S. Stephens (3) vs. A. Sevastova (19)

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