Sharapova's long-unbeaten record in night-session matches at Flushing Meadows was ended in the fourth round by Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.
The Russian, playing her fourth straight round-16 match in NY, the seventh in 12 attempts, her lowest success rate for reaching the second week out of all four Grand Slams, looked often fearful and out of position when she tried to clinch the point at the net.
It felt like 1,000 degrees on Arthur Ashe midday Tuesday, but it didn't seem to bother Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova too much as she steamrolled her way into her first grand slam semifinals, beating Stephens 6-2, 6-3.
The Spaniard, who turned 30 on Monday, will be at that stage for the second time at the U.S. Open, five years after her other run to that round. She will face defending runner-up Madison Keys in Wednesday's quarterfinals. "I'm very happy because I played a good match", Suarez Navarro said in her on-court interview.
That, she insists, came when she arrived in the United States with her father - but without her mother - and just $700 in their pockets.
Suarez-Navarro answered with an awesome ending to the fourth where she played the final rally chasing the ball against the 22nd seed before getting an edge on where her opponent was to get one over her and level the score again. At the beginning of the second set, I could feel like a breeze, like a little wind, and it was cooler.
Madison Keys says she doesn't mind getting less attention than fellow Americans Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, despite reaching the final a year ago. Suarez Navarro stormed towards a 4-1 lead with a double-break advantage but was pegged back as her vulnerable serves were exposed by the aggressive Sharapova.
She is adamant that her best days are still ahead of her. Sharapova, the 2006 champion, had never lost a night session match in NY prior to her first Grand Slam meeting with Suarez Navarro.
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Things grew tougher in the second as a sluggish Djokovic laboured before again clinching the set with a break. All three matches - two of which were played on hard court and one on grass - went to three sets, with their 2016 match at the Birmingham Classic a particularly memorable battle.
Sharapova, who won the last of her five Slams at Roland Garros in 2014, has endured a disappointing return to the majors since the end of her drugs ban in April of 2017.
"I was just thinking I have to fight for every point; even if I break a leg I should try to get to every ball", she said. Sharapova broke to 4-2, but lost her serve for the third straight time and finished to surrender 6-4.
In the two-hour 32-minute match, which featured 13 breaks of serve, Tsurenko committed 57 unforced errors while 19-year-old Vondrousova hit a huge 73. "So I'm just glad I could do one of my goals", the 20th-seeded Osaka said.
"I don't know what to say".
A hold in the seventh was essential for the Russian who achieved a chance to stay alive in order to challenge for a deciding set.
"I've always dreamed of playing here and going to the quarterfinals and further", Osaka said.