Osaka steamrolls Tsurenko to reach U.S. Open semis

Long road back for Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori has outlasted Marin Cilic in a rematch of the 2014 US Open final, moving into the semifinals in NY with a five-set victory. "I just like walking in the city".

Nishikori won the opening two games of the third to make it six games in a row before surviving six deuces to come through a marathon sixth game.

20th seed Osaka used a lethal ground game and solid serving to overwhelm a tired Tsurenko, who laboured in stifling conditions on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

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.

She becomes the first Japanese woman since Kimiko Date to reach the semis of a Slam.

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After Naomi Osaka reached the women's semi-finals earlier, Nishikori's win means there is a Japanese man and woman in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open Era.

"Always exciting to play him".

Naomi Osaka steamrolled past Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1 in the US Open quarter-final on Wednesday to enter her first Grand Slam semi-final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY.

"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 and then my grandparents can come and watch".

Nishikori said: "It was really tough". Nishikori said this week that he was nervous once that championship match began - but Wednesday's match was nothing like that day.

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Tsurenko had dealt with heat issues in the fourth round, when her opponent accused her of acting, and said after her lopsided loss to Osaka that she was dealing with a sore throat and problems breathing.

Osaka represents Japan and was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, but the family moved to NY when she was three before relocating to Florida five years later.

After Cilic evened the match by taking the fourth following a 10-minute break for heat, Nishikori was on the verge of running away with the fifth, holding a break point for a 5-1 lead. This is her first career Grand Slam semifinal in what's been a year of firsts for her so far.

Keys punched her ticket with a victory over Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday.

Osaka will face 14th-seeded Madison Keys in the first major semifinal appearance for a Japanese woman since Date reached the final four at Wimbledon in 1996. In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes.

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"I really, really, really hope she makes it to the final here and I hope that we do, too".

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