Maria Sharapova says she has had tougher times after last-16 defeat

Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Monday Sept. 3 2018 in New York

Russia's tennis star Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the US Open in the fourth round on Monday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain.

Sharapova matched her performance from previous year but then, in her first Grand Slam since the end of her doping ban, the fourth round seemed a sign she could return to her best.

Asked what the most disappointing aspect of her game was, the five-time major champion said: "I think not being able to consistently put up the level from one match to another, stringing obviously in a span of hopefully a total of seven matches during a grand slam".

Since returning to Grand Slam action at last year's US Open, she has climbed to 22nd in the rankings and reached one quarter-final at Roland Garros in June. It's a really good show, but for the players sometimes it's tough, especially for me.

"Madison is from the United States so I guess all the crowd will be for her".

Tsurenko, who shocked No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round sealing her seventh Top 10 victory, has fallen to a player ranked outside the Top 100 once in 2018 (l. No.143 Errani in Dubai first-round). She gave Suarez-Navarro a second chance answering well on running the ball down until a return from the 31-year-old fell long to serve up match point.

She said: "I think it's mainly because I've had a bad memory here".

Keys has been solid in NY, having dropped a single set through four matches, and turned it up a notch against her 29th-seeded opponent as she lost only 10 points on serve during a 76-minute match in which she was broken once. "I want to have a happy birthday, and I have it".

She is adamant that her best days are still ahead of her. "I told myself to run and fight - that's the way I can play really good tennis".

"Against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match - they play aggressive, they serve big", Sevastova said.

The fearlessness that Sharapova had shown in her previous night matches had gone missing, and it was as if she made a decision to go home swinging.

"But I have the motivation and belief every day to continue".

A quick exchange of breaks started the second set but it was Suarez Navarro who stepped up her play and produced some incredible defence to match Sharapova's power, clinching three straight games from 1-2 down.

An injured Lesia Tsurenko came back to beat 19-year-old Czech Marketa Vondrousova, the youngest and only teenager remained in the draw, 6-7 7-5 6-2 to become the third Ukrainian woman to reach a Slam quarterfinal, along with Svitolina and Kateryna Bondarenko.

Sharapova matched her performance from past year but then, in her first slam since the end of her doping ban, the fourth round seemed a sign she could return to her best. I feel like there were moments that I kind of knew what to do.

Tsurenko was a set and 0-2 down when she said she felt so dizzy that she needed to see a doctor before going on to claim a three-set win. "So that's why I won, because I believed I have a chance", the No. 8-seeded Pliskova said. "As always... (in a) match against Keys, (it's) hard for me to play my game and to get into the rhythm and just do what I do best on court".



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