Stephens was beaten 6-2 6-3 by the Latvian in their quarter-final clash, ending the American's defence of her maiden grand slam title. "Whoever plays with higher intensity and higher adrenaline on Tuesday, will probably have more options to win".
"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", she said. "That's the most important thing to me", she continued. Stephens gave credit to her opponent, Sevastova saying "It's hard match and I though she played solid today and obviously the better player won".
Now she's aiming for a strong finish to the year.
She tried to take that momentum into game eight, but missed several opportunities to tie Sevastova - including a heartbreaker after a 14-shot volley that saw Stephens hit it into the net.
Nadal was tested in his last two rounds, edging past Karen Khachanov in four close sets in round three, before dropping a set to Basilashvili on Sunday. She added: "You can't control the weather, can't control what the tournament is going to do".
"But in the end it's awesome, yes?" "I think that's what happened today".
"I think we nearly all the time have great matches". You've got to play.
After taking a 4-1 lead in the second set, Sevastova admitted she had flash backs to last year's quarter-finals, when an 83rd-ranked Stephens rallied from a break down in the third to upset Sevastova in a tiebreaker.
Sevastova is one of the wiliest players on tour, mixing up slices, spins and angles and generally making life very uncomfortable for a player like Stephens who feeds off consistency of pace. After she won her first game of the second set, she let out a triumphant, Serena Williams-esque roar. "Enjoy the game." she said.
"I would say the first really epic match that I played". It also made things tough on No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 9 Dominic Thiem during their 4-hour, 49-minute tussle that ended just past 2 a.m. on Wednesday, with Nadal pulling out the 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) victory to return to the semifinals. "I have to try and consolidate that good feeling I had on serve in the second set and I finished serving well as well".
Sloane Stephens of the United States (L) shakes hands with Elise Mertens of Belgium (R) after their match in the fourth round on day seven of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The American stunned the world in 2017 by storming up the rankings from world No. 957 at the start of the American hard court summer to inside the top-20 as she won her first Grand Slam final.
"Defending a title isn't defending". I'm not going to dwell on it.
Wimbledon will be the most adamant of the four in resisting moves to extend legal coaching during matches, but there is likely to be more agreement on ditching the idea of reducing the number of seeds from 32 to 16. "I played a solid match so I couldn't really ask for any more".