Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Serena Williams vs Anastasija Sevastova: US Open semifinal preview and prediction

Tennis US Open Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open
Eugene Bates | 07 September, 2018, 04:45

In doing so, he made history along with his compatriot Naomi Osaka, following her 6-1 6-1 win over Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, as they became the first Japanese man and woman to reach the semi-finals of a major for the first time in the Open Era.

Osaka, who was born in Japan but moved to the U.S.at age 3, was followed at Arthur Ashe Stadium by Kei Nishikori, who beat Marin Cilic in a men's quarterfinal.

The 21st-seeded Nishikori and No. 7 Cilic traded the lead and momentum for more than 4 hours.

Breaks were at a premium in the first set, both players holding serve until Suarez Navarro cracked at a decisive moment in the 10th game.

As for her strategy of attacking the net, she said, "I've been working hard on my volleys".

The last Japanese women's player to reach a semi-final was Kimiko Date, who lost to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon.

Spanish 30th seed Suarez Navarro, playing in her second US Open quarter-final, has made this stage by seeing off French sixth seed Caroline Garcia as well as former champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

It was a great day for Japanese tennis as both Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka booked their passage to the US Open semifinals in two very different matches.

"She was returning in pressure situation every time because I don't have a big first service", the Spaniard said. "I think it would be really cool".

But after laboring through the heat in her previous match, Tsurenko said she was sick Wednesday, waking up with a sore throat and not breathing well.

"Unfortunately during this tournament, I had many issues with my health, and today was not my day obviously". In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes.

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.

On Wednesday, Osaka only needed 12 winners because a whopping 31 of her other points came via unforced errors by Tsurenko.

For Osaka, who is 20, this is her first trip past the fourth round at a major.

For Williams, it was more of what we've seen all Open.

"I hate matches like this", said Tsurenko.

Osaka, the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian father, said she enjoyed playing in the blistering heat of NY which has been such a talking point of the tournament.

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