Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

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. "I was ill and woke up with a viral infection".

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.

Now, Osaka is one of those players on TV - and seeing the same experience from the other side is proving to be just as cool.

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

The 23-year-old Keys beat Suarez Navarro in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

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

She was finally tested in the round of 16, edging past No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in a little more than 2 hours, but she was back in complete control against Tsurenko, winning 20 of 22 points (91 per cent) on her first serve.

Japanese media and fans on Thursday rained down the superlatives on tennis stars Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka who made history by both reaching the US Open semi-finals. I was up 4-1 and he came back.

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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. I try to fight every point even though I was really exhausted.

Nishikori stunned then-world number one Djokovic in the semi-finals in 2014 to become the first man from an Asian country to reach the championship match of a major.

Her news conferences are bilingual: English-speaking press go first, then Japanese reporters ask questions in Japanese.

The Japanese outlasted the Croat in a nail-biting five setter, proving more consistent than his opponent across the duration of the four-hour battle to win 4-6 6-4 7-6 4-6 6-4.

Tsurenko laboured in the heat during her fourth-round victory over Marketa Vondrousova, having her temperature and blood checked during a medical timeout in the first set and almost quitting when she trailed early in the second.

He had two game points for a 5-2 lead but a double fault and a backhand wide opened the door for Cilic, who stormed through, shouting "Got it!" when he secured the break to narrow the gap to 4-3.

Suarez Navarro has now lost all seven Grand Slam quarter-finals she has contested. I said, 'Man, go ahead'. In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes.

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