US Open 2017 runner-up Madison Keys and this year’s Indian Wells winner Naomi Osaka set up a blockbuster semifinal at the US Open as both players cruised past opponents on Wednesday in Flushing Meadows.
Osaka, in her first Slam semifinal and the first Japanese woman to make the final four at the US Open, rolled over Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1.
“I feel like I was much more emotional for the quarters,” Osaka said afterwards. “And then now I feel like it’s sort of like business again. Quarters was sort of my mental goal, like every time I played a Grand Slam. And then after I went into the quarters, I kind of want to keep going, so I feel like I have to be focused again and keep trying really hard.”
The 20-year-old is the youngest woman in the US Open semis in eight years, and the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach a Grand Slam semi since Kimiko Date.
Tsurenko, drained from a three-setter in her previous match and illness, had 31 unforced errors as she tried to keep points short with little success.
“I just woke up today with a viral illness,” said Tsurenko afterwards. “I think. I don’t know…my throat is not well. I’m not breathing well. I hate matches like this. I didn’t want to show this kind of game in front of this big crowd, but unfortunately I’m just not able to play now.”
The No. 14-seeded Keys beat Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.
“To break in both sets, having solid games there, was really important tonight,” Keys said afterwards.
Keys broke with Suarez Navarro serving at 5-4 in the first set and for a 4-2 lead in the second.
“I felt good tonight, I’m really happy to be in the semifinal,” said Keys.
Keys is 2-0 career against Osaka.
Thursday at the US Open will feature both women’s semifinals, Keys vs. Osaka and No. 17 Serena Williams vs. No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova.
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