Serena Williams uses net game to cruise into ninth US Open final
07 September, 2018, 04:43 | Author: Alyssa Little
Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam on Wednesday (Sep 5) when she defeated Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-1, 6-1 in the last-eight of the US Open, admitting she was "freaking out" inside.
Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori have created tennis history at the US Open.
Osaka had reached the Australian Open last 16 in January in her previous best run at the majors.
Nishikori leads head to head meetings 8-6, he won the last match played at 2018 Monte Carlo semifinals in three sets.
"To break in both sets, having solid games there, was really important tonight", Keys said in her on-court post-match interview.
"So I knew that I was going to have to play really well but also know that she's going to come up with some great shots and defend really well".
Together, Osaka and Nishikori are the first Japanese woman and man to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam.
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"It's good to have, you know, home support outside of Japan", he said.
Williams had a tough draw during the US Open but the early exits of Simona Halep and Sloane Stepehens has seen her passage to the final four a bit lighter, with Kaia Kanepi the only player to take a set off her.
Yesterday's action in NY saw Naomi Osaka trounce Lesia Tsurenko 1&1, while Madison Keys' straight-set win over Carla Suarez Navarro was also relatively facile, with a solitary break of serve enough in either set - Suarez Navarro was unable to convert her two chances in what was a pretty strong serving display from Keys. I didn't have energy left to play five sets. I try to fight every point even though I was really exhausted.
Tsurenko laboured in the heat during her fourth-round victory over Marketa Vondrousova, having her temperature and blood checked during a medical timeout in the first set and almost quitting when she trailed early in the second. I think she can win a title now.
Suarez Navarro enjoyed a fine run in NY, where she upstaged sixth seed Caroline Garcia and ended Maria Sharapova's impeccable record under the lights in the Big Apple, however, the 30th seed could not match Keys.
She pushed some balls a few feet past the baseline, often failing to make Osaka do anything special to win a point and finishing with 31 unforced errors. "Especially after coming from injury", he said, "I think I'm enjoying this challenge". "I wasn't nervous before the match, but as soon as I got into the court, it was different".
In addition, she actually boasts better return data at this year's US Open than Williams does, against at least similar opponent quality, if not a higher calibre.
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