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Nishikori, Osaka book trips to US Open semis

07 September, 2018, 01:23 | Author: John Swanson
  • Madison Keys

"I think we play similarly", Keys said of facing Osaka.

It has already been a successful return to Flushing Meadows for Nishikori who missed the U.S. Open previous year with a wrist injury that saw his ranking plunge and put him on the comeback trail that included playing Challenger-level tournaments.

After Naomi Osaka reached the women's semi-finals earlier, Nishikori's win means there is a Japanese man and woman in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open Era.

Osaka's next opponent Keys was one of four American women in the U.S. Open semifinals a year ago, when she was the runner-up.

Keys won all 10 of her service games, saving the only two break points she faced.

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Keys had the chance to close out the set on Suarez Navarro's racquet at 5-4 and while she was denied at the first time of asking, she did not waste her second opportunity. Keys, 23, is a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist and Olympian.

Sevastova looks to be in deep trouble from the get-go, because she's never felt the weight of Williams' shots or the unrelenting pressure her aggressive play applie. "I wasn't nervous before the match, but as soon as I got into the court, it was different".

"Yeah, always excited to play Novak because it's great challenge for me", said Nishikori about the possibility of facing Djokovic, should the sixth-seeded Serb beat Millman in the quarter-finals.

Naomi Osaka advances to the US Open semifinals with a straight-sets victory over Lesia Tsurenko.

This year, Williams' French Open appearance - her first Grand Slam since the birth of her child, was watched closely by fans, and the American progressed to Round 4 of the tournament having dropped only a set.

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For Osaka, her victory is the latest milestone in a watershed year for the 20-year-old who won her first WTA Tour title in Indian Wells, Calif., in March.

Osaka, whose father is Haitian, is the first Japanese woman since the start of the Open era to reach the U.S. Open semifinals and the first to reach any Grand Slam semifinal since Kimiko Date did it in 1996 at Wimbledon.

She was finally tested in the round of 16, edging past No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in a little more than two hours, but she was back in complete control against Tsurenko, winning 20 of 22 points (91 percent) on her first serve.

She won 59 points to just 28 for the unseeded Ukrainian, who knocked off No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round. "It would be really cool".

It's a match that still haunts Osaka, whether she likes it or not.

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Such was Osaka's dominance in the afternoon that she broke Tsurenko five times and the quarter-final lasted for a meagre 57 minutes. "That's something that is a really good trait, and I'm really happy that my grandparents and my dad's side of the family is like that", Osaka said.

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