Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Japan hails Osaka, Nishikori's historic run at US Open

Japan hails Osaka, Nishikori's historic run at US Open

In the 2018 US Open championship final, Williams will face the victor of the second semifinal between last year's finalist Madison Keys of the United States, the No.14 seed, and first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Naomi Osaka of Japan, the No.20 seed.

Keys, who is also an Australian and French Open semifinalist, will face Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka for a spot in the decider.

The Ukrainian had a small window to grab momentum but failed to cash in on her three break-point opportunities while trailing 4-1 in the second set and Osaka fought back before cruising through the final game.

Key's compatriot Serena Williams will match up against Anastajia Sevastova in Thursday's other semi, with the six-time champion looking to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major wins - just a year after giving birth to her first child.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who has looked comfortable on one of the sport's biggest stages, was tearful after her fourth-round clash but much less emotional after her latest win.

Sevastova, who also made the quarterfinals in the doubles with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, began her US Open with a hard-fought 6-2 2-6 6-3 win over Donna Vekic.

"Just like my entire body was shaking, so I'm really glad I was able to play well today", she said.

Kei Nishikori will contest a third US Open semi-final after defeating Marin Cilic in a topsy-turvy repeat of the 2014 final.

Keys and Suarez Navarro met three times previously, with Keys winning all three matches in three sets.

Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem in US Open quarter-final
The win was sealed when Thiem missed a hard overhead smash long, and Nadal looked to the sky, equal parts overjoyed and relieved. The tired combatants held serve throughout the fifth - including one triple break point for Nadal - into another tiebreak.

Nishikori raced into a 4-1 lead but Cilic broke back to take the set to 4-4.

Only once had Japan had a man and woman reach the quarterfinals of the same major, and Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date both lost in that round at Wimbledon in 1995. Part of this has to do with her style of play.

It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the high 80s but feeling about 10 degrees hotter with the humidity.

The 20-year-old said she was nervous, claiming to be "freaking out inside" - though it certainly never showed.

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. "No matter what happens in any match, semis, finals, I just feel like I've already won".

"I was, alongside many other people, anticipating the match against Federer", Djokovic said.

Djokovic needed two four-setters in his opening rounds but cruised through in straight sets against Richard Gasquet and John Millman.

Though he clawed his way back into the set, it was the 21st seed who got over the line as Cilic again imploded in a breaker.

Like this: