Shelby Rogers leaves U.S. Open after strong performance and record-breaking match

Shelby Rogers exited the U.S. Open after a third-round loss to World No. 4 Elina Svitolina. But along the way, the former Daniel Island resident’s name was entered into the tournament’s record book.

Rogers participated in – and won – the longest women’s match in the U.S. Open’s glorious history. The Lowcountry legend outlasted Daria Gavrilova in a match that lasted three hours and 33 minutes. When the marathon ended, Rogers had a 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (5) victory in the second round.

Rogers was ousted in the third round when she had Svitolina on the ropes. But Svitolina survived Rogers’ power game to record a 6-4, 7-5 triumph.

Still, it was a big week in the Big Apple for Rogers, who received a $150,000 paycheck and seeks to improve on her World No. 62 ranking.

Rogers sensed she was making history in the victory over Gavrilova, who arrived in New York with the World No. 20 ranking.

“Right before I went to the locker room, my coach told me (about the record),” Rogers told reporters after her long day. “I was like, oh, that’s pretty cool, casually setting records today.”

“I knew how hard it was to close that match out,” Rogers added. “We’d been battling out there. I knew it was going to be a really tough fight going into it. She’s been playing really well, she’s super confident, she makes you earn every single point. I was definitely ready for that. Then I looked at the clock after, yeah. Setting records, there you go.”

Rogers rallied late against Svitolina, cutting a 5-2 lead to 5-4 in the second set, but the Ukranian held on to deny Rogers a spot in the Round of the 16. Rogers had the crowd in her corner against the World No. 4 after making history the match before. But Svitolina was able to overcome Rogers’ home-court advantage.

“Well, of course I know that they are behind her, but in the same time, you know, also gives you pressure,” Svitolina said. “So I don’t really think about it so much. I try to take, you know, one point at a time, to really fight, to go for my shots, and, you know, just think about myself.”

The 24-year-old Rogers defeated wildcard entry Kayla Day in the first round, posting a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 decision. The big week in the Big Apple gives Rogers a 22-19 record in 2017. She topped $500,000 in earnings for the year and is closing in on the $2 million mark for her career.

It also gave her a piece of history with the marathon match.

“I didn’t feel like it was the longest match ever,” Rogers said. “But it’s starting to set in a little bit now. Going to be sore ... Just so many ups and downs for both of us today. To get through that on the winning side was just really incredible. The crowd helped me so much. They gave me some energy in the third, for sure. I was just so grateful to them for staying there three and a half hours.”

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