US Open 2018: Japanese delight as Nishikori, Osaka advance

Naomi Osaka US Open

Nishikori overcame a ferocious comeback from Marin Cilic to prevail in five sets 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

Madison Keys is into her third semifinal in the past five Grand Slam tournaments, including two in a row at the US Open.

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.

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.

Serena Williams and Madison Keys will attempt to make it another all-American women's final at the U.S. Open. "I wouldn't like to go to five sets every time but I try to fight every point and stay focused one point at a time". Now, she needs to do it one more time to advance to her first career final.

"I think it's because of Kei", she said, holding her hands apart to show how much bigger Nishikori is in Japan, from where her family moved to NY when she was 3.

"Well, in the mornings I don't play matches, I walk around and hear the lovely honking", Osaka said. Tsurenko had 31 unforced errors to Osaka's 11, and Osaka finished with 12 winners.

She purported to be "freaking out inside", even if it certainly never showed. So obviously I know her game really well.

But Tsurenko said she was sick Wednesday, waking up with a sore throat and not breathing well.

'But even on court, Serena is very aggressive, you know, and Naomi, I have to push her to get a fist pump out of her.

For Osaka, who is 20, this is her first trip past the fourth round at a major. So far in this Open, she's held opponents scoreless in three sets, and she's dropped only one set thus far.

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It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the 30s C, but feeling much hotter due to the humidity.

The first meeting between these two young big-hitters came two years ago on Arthur Ashe Stadium. She won the Indian Wells Open and made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

"I hate matches like this", said Tsurenko.

To get to Saturday's championship match, the 20th seed will have to get past either USA 14th seed Madison Keys or Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

The 23-year-old thinks she is more equipped than ever to deal with important moments on important stages.

'There have been a lot of matches now for me at this slam, but that's definitely still always going to be something that I remember'. "Overall, he's just really nice and positive and bubbly and stuff".

Kei Nishikori, of Japan, celebrates after defeating Marin Cilic, of Croatia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in NY. Sevastova is making her debut appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal after knocking off defending champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals.

Osaka's first serve percentage was only 59 percent but she did not concede a point behind her first serve the entire first set and only surrendered seven points on serve over the match.

At night Novak Djokovic will face John Millman for the second time in career.

"I was struggling. He was struggling. It's incredible", said Djokovic. "Just trying to find a way to hang in there". But he was unable to escape in the eighth game as Cilic turned the screw to hit back in style. He was able to come through on only four of his 20 break points.

Nishikori got the early break in the fifth set and led by 4-1 but Cilic got back on serve at 4-5.

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