Sports Happy birthday, Carla Suarez Navarro; tough break, Maria Sharapova

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12:25 AM ET

  • Sports

    Aishwarya KumarESPN.com

NEW YORK — Records were set, tears were shed, celebrities were spotted and … Maria Sharapova lost on Labor Day here in Flushing Meadows.

Sharapova fell to Carla Suarez Navarro, who celebrated her 30th birthday with one of the biggest wins of her career.

It was a nice turnaround at the US Open for Suarez Navarro, who has not always fared well on her birthday. Five years ago, she was double-bageled by Serena Williams, and last year she fell to Venus Williams.

Suarez Navarro won the match 6-4, 6-3 with actors Aziz Ansari, Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas and former president Bill Clinton cheering from the stands.

Suarez Navarro exploited Sharapova’s weak serves, and the Spaniard’s one-handed backhand was too much for the No. 22 seed to handle. She will face defending runner-up Madison Keys in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

“[Keys] is from the U.S., so the crowd will be with her,” Suarez Navarro said in her on-court interview. “Madison serves really good, she has a really good forehand and played in the final here, so she has a lot of experience in this tournament and on this court. I’ll try to enjoy the match like I did today.”

Suarez Navarro hit the shot of the day — and it looked very similar to the shot Roger Federer hit around the net post a few days ago.

We’ve got our point of the night…������

Sit back and enjoy this wild rally between @CarlaSuarezNava and Sharapova!#USOpen pic.twitter.com/lu9R57OeN3

– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2018

For Sharapova, this was her first-ever loss in a night match at the US Open (23-1).


Naomi Osaka has big dreams despite being two matches away from the US Open final.

“I hope I can play [Serena Williams] here, but that means we meet in the final,” she said, smiling.

This was after she completed a picture-perfect day for herself and for Japan (after Kei Nishikori‘s straight-sets win against Philipp Kohlschreiber).

This is the first time since 1995 that Japan has representation both in the men’s and women’s quarterfinals in a Grand Slam.

The 20-year-old Osaka didn’t have it as easy as Nishikori, but after being down a break in the third set, she came back to make her first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win against Aryna Sabalenka. The two-hour battle (which involved a 10-minute heat break and a fan screaming, “Please, Naomi, please!” at match point) came to a disappointing end when Sabalenka double-faulted.

Wiping away tears in her on-court interview, Osaka said, “All I had in my mind was, even if I break a leg, I should try and get to every ball.”

Tears of Joy:

An emotional win for @Naomi_Osaka_ as she outlasts Sabalenka in 3 sets to reach her first ever Grand Slam QF…#USOpen⁠ ⁠ pic.twitter.com/b6flq3WRyh

– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2018

Coach Sascha Bajin held it together throughout the match but revealed how nerve-wracking it was watching from the sidelines.

@Naomi_Osaka_ sure loves herself some razzle dazzle… I’m to old for this my heart can’t take it. #USOpen18

– sascha Bajin (@BigSascha) September 3, 2018

Before her intense fourth-round match, Osaka and Bajin had some fun during a practice session. They spotted themselves on TV, and Big Sascha’s poker face at the camera would have made Jim Halpert from “The Office” proud:

Hey @BigSascha, we’re always watching �� ��@Naomi_Osaka_ and her coach spotted themselves on #TCLive this morning.#USOpen pic.twitter.com/CyRkGIzGBa

– Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) September 3, 2018


Madison Keys has flown under the radar at this year’s US Open, overshadowed by Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens et al. But that works fine for Keys.

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Madison Keys says she doesn’t mind getting less attention than fellow Americans Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, despite reaching the final last year.

Attention or not, Keys is playing some impeccable tennis.

The winners are flying off @Madison_Keys‘ racquet this afternoon!

She leads Cibulkova 4-1 in the opening set…#USOpen pic.twitter.com/HSlumqCFfB

– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2018


Novak Djokovic rolled into the quarterfinals of the US Open early Monday — and that means more time with his family!

�� first


��second@DjokerNole lists his priorities for this evening! ����#USOpen pic.twitter.com/PFCSQw0Uq0

– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2018


Meme alert! This fan was seen dipping her chicken tenders in a soft drink. We know it’s hot out there, but WHO DOES THAT? Of course, the video went viral.

Nothing like dunking your chicken fingers into a tall glass of Coke… #usopen ���� pic.twitter.com/gVuWDmlahb

– Tim and Sid (@timandsid) September 3, 2018

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