ICYMI at US Open: Sloane's resurgence, Venus' resiliency rule

Well, at least Maria Sharapova and Denis Shapovalov's names won't be getting confused anymore this week. Too soon? But seriously, it happened more times than you would think.

Alas, they both ended their US Open runs today: Sharapova as the lightning-rod comeback queen after her 15-month absence and Shapovalov as the new king of the north.

For what it's worth, analysts Brad Gilbert and John McEnroe are both calling the latter-mentioned Canadian a future Grand Slam champion, and at only 18, we have to agree that his electrifying run here was the very definition of next-gen tennis.

Also, this kid is seriously delightful.

But if we're looking for young talent who can actually take the title in this tourney, enter S.S. Resurgence -- and when we say S.S., we mean Sloane Stephens. After missing 11 months due to surgery on her right foot, Stephens reached the Open quarterfinals Sunday and climbed from 957 to 83 in an incredible jump in the WTA rankings.

Call her "Sloane Ranger," call her "Sloane Danger," but before this is over, she just might be called 2017 US Open champ.

As for Stephens' next opponent, Anastasija Sevastova, she just seems pumped about the possibility of another Ashe match.

After ending Maria Sharapova's US Open run, Anastasija Sevastova was asked about the prospect of facing American Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. "I hope it's going to be on Ashe, and I hope we can put on a show," she said. It's the second consecutive year the Latvian has been one of the last eight women standing here.

Kevin Stone, ESPN.com6y ago

Fierce Five

We're absolutely stealing this moniker from USA gymnastics because who better to aspire to than those winners? There's a chance that five American women could make the Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. Just once more for emphasis: 2002.

CoCo Vandeweghe, Jennifer Brady and Madison Keys will all make a run for the quarters Monday, and Stephens and Venus Williams advanced Sunday.

Venus, who beat Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets, is now the only US Open champ left in the women's field. Why do we love Venus so much? Besides her resiliency, her game, her class, her competiveness, her style ... do we have to stop? One more: She also somehow goes with the flow.

I gotta flow. You gotta flow? So let it go. Yeah. #usopen #elevenbyvenus

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Last man standing

Well, American man. No. 17 Sam Querrey won in straight sets to advance on his home turf. Querrey is the first from the U.S. to reach the quarters at the Open since Andy Roddick and John Isner in 2011.

But we just have to leave this here because honestly, how can you not root for a guy who can not only win but also rock a sombrero? Amazing.

🎾 | Sam Querrey derrotó en dos sets a @rafaelnadal (6-3 y 7-6 (3)) y conquistó el Abierto Mexicano de tenis en Acapulco.

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These shoes were made for talking

In case you missed the sneaks' subtleties this week, custom kicks are what all the cool kids are wearing. And yes, even at 36, Roger Federer will always be the ultimate cool kid.

In the same vein, Rafael Nadal has his Open wins etched as well.

With both icons on the same side of the bracket, of course, only one will need his shoes updated for next year's tourney.

Restoration hardware

As the first week of action ends, some players such as Italy's Roberta Vinci stuck around until today to see the sights before saying arrivederci to New York for another year.

Although she lost to Sloane Stephens early, she does have a silver lining in a replacement 2015 Open runner-up plate after her original was stolen from her home this summer.


Well, a few birthdays to begin. Happy 24th to Dominic Thiem today and congrats on his advancement to the round of 16.

Happy born day to Carla Suárez Navarro, who put in one entertaining fight against Venus Williams on her 29th.

Happy birthday Carla Suarez Navarro! #CarlaSuarezNavarro #Happybirthday #29years

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Also, all-the-awws to 2011 and 2015 US Open winner Novak Djokovic on the birth of baby girl, Tara.

And yes, we're totally hoping for a 2037 matchup against Serena's baby girl.