US Open -- Naomi Osaka reaches semifinals

2018 US Open Tennis Tournament Day Eleven. Serena Williams of the United States in action against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the Women's Singles Semi Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean

"The other time I cried a little bit and there was a lot of people making fun of me", Osaka said during her on-court interview.

"Well, it definitely means a lot for me, and I always thought if I were to win a Grand Slam, the first one I'd want to win is the US Open, because I have grown up here", said Osaka, who was born in Japan but has lived most of her life in the United States.

Such was Osaka's dominance in the afternoon that she broke Tsurenko five times and the quarter-final lasted for a meagre 57 minutes.

Last year's runner-up, at the Flushing Meadows, Madison Keys, reached the semi-final after overcoming Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.

Nishikori reached the last four of the men's singles with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic - the man who beat him in the 2014 final.

It was a much different outcome from 2014 when the big-hitting Cilic floored the Japanese counter-puncher 6-3 6-3 6-3 to claim the USA title. That was at Wimbledon in 1995, and both Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date lost in that round. Nishikori said this week that he was nervous once that match began, but this one was nothing like that day.

To win a title or even make a final in NY, where she and her sister Mari grew up learning tennis in a Haitian household with her father's parents and eating her mother's Japanese food, would speak to every part of Osaka's multicultural experience.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Saturday Sept. 1 2018 in New York

History is on the line for 20-year-old Naomi Osaka on Thursday, as she bids to become the first Japanese woman to reach a major final in the Open Era. "I was freaking out inside, just like my whole body was shaking, so I'm really glad I was able to play well". Yesterday's victory was her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final, and it will be interesting to see if she can overcome any nerves - obviously an unquantifiable variable, in any case.

The match was a repeat of the 2014 US Open final, which Cilic won, and the Croatian made a strong start as he took the opening set.

Keys: 'I felt good today.

Osaka's feat was credited with lifting the share price of her racquet producer Yonex, which soared more than 10 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange while the headline Nikkei index sank. It wasn't as easy for Kei Nishikori, who had to battle out a five-set marathon against No. 7 Marin Cilic to make his third US Open semifinal. She opened her tournament with a 6-2 6-3 win over Laura Siegemund before crushing Julia Glushko 6-2 6-0 in the second round.

It's their first meeting as Williams makes her ninth straight Open semifinal appearance, discounting the ones she's missed (2017, 2010).

She was quickly down two more breaks at 4-0 before squandering three break points in the sixth game as Osaka glided into a maiden semi-final at the Slams. In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her after the match of acting.




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