Smiling Sevastova prepared for bombardment in maiden slam semi

Anastasija Sevastova's tendency to play plenty of drop shots could come in handy when she faces powerful opposition in her first slam semi.

Anastasija Sevastova during her US Open quarter-final win over Sloane Stephens   -  Getty Images

A grinning Anastasija Sevastova said she will "need to find some solutions" to cope with the big serves of Serena Williams or Karolina Pliskova in the last four of the US Open.

Sevastova eliminated defending champion Sloane Stephens in straight sets at a sun-baked Flushing Meadows, avenging last year's defeat to the same opponent to reach the first grand slam semi-final of her career.

The Latvian, who retired from tennis five years ago due to injuries and illness before returning in 2015, can expect another stern challenge on Thursday, in the form of 23-time grand slam singles champion Williams or Pliskova, another former world number one.

"I'm going to play doubles tomorrow [Wednesday] - that's my preparation," said 19th seed Sevastova when asked how she will get ready for the biggest match of her career.

"I'm going to watch the match [between Williams and Pliskova in Tuesday's night session]. We'll see who will win. I don't know. It's going to be a close match, I think.

READ: Sevastova topples Stephens to reach US Open semifinals

"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals. It's not every day you play semi-finals of a grand slam.

"Either way, against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match. They play aggressive. They serve big. I need to find some solutions, some drop shots!"

That last comment brought laughter from the assembled reporters, given Sevastova's tendency to play drop shots and vary her angle of attack on a regular basis.

The tactic certainly paid off against Stephens, who had to contend with a sinus infection in addition to the sweltering temperatures on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Sevastova was asked if she played more drop shots when she saw Stephens was less than 100 per cent fit.

"I saw she was struggling, but I don't play drop shots when I see the player struggling or bending over," said Sevastova.

"I just play them instinctively, and that's how they work, or don't work sometimes.

"It's tough to make points against her, but I had to be aggressive. I had to try to come to the net, play some drop shots, move her, not let her play the game with her forehand and make the winners." 

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