American Sloane Stephens reaches her first U.S. Open semifinal

Sandra Harwitt, Special for USA TODAY Sports
Published 5:53 p.m. ET Sept. 5, 2017 | Updated 7:48 p.m. ET Sept. 5, 2017

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Tennis Channel breaks down Labor Day at the U.S. Open, where Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Karolina Pliskova all won in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals.
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NEW YORK — When life throws someone a curveball the way they respond says a great deal about a person.

For Sloane Stephens, nearly a year off the court with a left foot stress fracture that required surgery, has been a game-changer that’s enabled her to persevere. The 24-year-old’s run to the semifinals at this U.S. Open is particularly poignant as she was out of action from the Rio Olympics last summer until Wimbledon in July.

“I think just my head is a little clearer, if that makes any sense,” said Stephens, of her return to the game. “Before, obviously, I was playing well. I had won a couple tournaments and was playing well, obviously. But being injured gave me a whole new…

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