Del Potro outlasts Isner in quarters

Williams, a six-time champion who missed last year's US Open as she gave birth to her daughter Olympia, is on a mission, seeking a title that would see her match Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major titles and let her avoid her first year since 2011 without a Grand Slam crown. This is her first US Open semifinal appearance after making it to quarters the past two years.

Sevastova, ranked 18th in the world, said she did not have many goals when she returned to tennis.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens has become the latest big name to fall at the US Open.

Stephens, 25, put pressure on her opponent's serve throughout the first set, but failed to convert any of the seven break points in her favor.

Nadal beat del Potro last year in the last four at Flushing Meadows, and again this year in the semifinals of the French Open.

Isner, who is having the best season of his career, was looking to reach his second consecutive slam semi-final and in doing so become the first American semi-finalist in the men's singles here since Andy Roddick in 2006.

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She then dropped her racket and held her hands to her face as a Stephens shot went into the net on the match's final point.

With the mercury hitting 32 degrees Celsius and and humidity at about 50 per cent, the US Tennis Association invoked its new extreme heat policy, which allowed the players to take a 10-minute break after the third set, but that clearly didn't help Isner, who quickly trailed 3-0 in the fourth. Defending champion Stephens is up first on Arthur Ashe Stadium, facing No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova in a rematch of Stephens' three-set victory in the same round at Flushing Meadows previous year.

Eighth-seeded Czech Pliskova insists she has the game to challenge 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams as they battle for a semi-final berth. Good question. And now she could be set to match up against another American: Serena Williams in the semifinal.

"I think you need some time to look at the journey - it was an incredible journey these three to four years", she said.

Back then it would have been hard to imagine the scene on Tuesday when she upset defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final, marking the latest chapter in her remarkable career comeback.

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