Shelby Rogers falls to No. 4 Elina Svitolina at U.S. Open

September 3, 2017 GMT

NEW YORK — It was a match that was Shelby Rogers’ to win. But she didn’t on Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open.

World’s No. 4 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine won most of the key points and held off a late Rogers rally to score a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the Charleston touring tennis professional.

Ranked 62nd in the world, Rogers still leaves the Big Apple with more than $150,000 in earnings from three singles matches and one doubles match. That should have helped the 24-year-old sleep better Saturday night.

At times, Rogers sparkled with all parts of her game, serve, hard-hit and well-placed forehands and backhands as well as numerous strong volleys. She matched up well against one of the WTA Tour’s hottest players. Svitolina has won five tournaments this year alone.


But overall, Rogers didn’t appear to be as sharp and play with the confidence and focus she had demonstrated while winning two three-set matches at BJK Tennis Center, including Thursday’s longest recorded women’s singles match in U.S. Open history that produced an upset of 20th-ranked Daria Gavrilova.

Rogers had ample opportunities to win this match and advance to Monday’s round of 16.

She didn’t blink in the first nine games of the match, coming up with the shots she needed to stay neck-and-neck with the speedy and consistent 5-9, 132-pound Ukrainian.

“I made too many unforced errors,” said Rogers, who committed 34 unforced errors to only 17 by Svitolina as each player finished with 16 winners.

“The last couple of matches I’ve been moving forward well. I’ve been pretty successful with it lately,” said Rogers about her 20-for-33 results on net approaches against Svitolina. “I want to keep doing it.”

Rogers was there at 4-4 in the first set and served with an ad-point in the 10th game, but committed three straight errors to drop the set.

“She didn’t miss much,” Rogers said.

As both players seemed to go into a lull in the second set, Rogers grabbed a 2-0 lead, only to drop the next five games for a 5-2 deficit. The match appeared to be over at that point. But Rogers didn’t think so.

Rogers staged an impressive rally by saving a pair of match points to break service in the ninth game to close to 5-4 and then held service to deadlock the second set, bringing the crowd to life.

“I left it all out there, and that’s all I can ask,” Rogers said. “The crowd was so awesome I wanted to fight until the end.”

With new life among the fans in the Grandstand stadium, Svitolina silenced the crowd by breaking out of deuce to hold service for 6-5 to again apply pressure on Rogers’ survival mode. Rogers played somewhat of a loose 12th game, committing three errors, and it cost her when she could only watch helplessly as a Svitolina forehand hit the net cord and trickled over the net to end the 92-minute match.

“The net cord was very tricky, but there also was one that went against me,” Svitolina said.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.