Nishikori outlasts Cilic to make semis
- Author: Stacy Allen Sep 07, 2018,
Sep 07, 2018, 1:23
It's women's semi-finals day at the US Open tonight, and back to preview the match-ups, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston.
Nishikori, who missed last year's US Open after a season-ending wrist injury, joined compatriot Naomi Osaka in reaching the semis - the first time that a Japanese man and woman have reached the last four in the same Grand Slam.
The 29-year-old, who had knocked out world number two and Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, hit 31 unforced errors and won just seven points off the Japanese star's serve.
Keys, who has now reached at least the semis at three of the last five slams, remembers her 2016 clash with Osaka at Flushing Meadows as the moment she learned to play on the biggest stage in the sport.
It was a routine start to the match in front of a relatively subdued crowd, still filling the stadium ahead of the men's quarterfinal between Novak Djokovic and John Millman.
Suarez Navarro closed to 5-3 and fought to just her second break point of the match in the ninth game, but Keys came back and after Suarez Navarro's return sailed wide she clenched her fist in celebration.
The second set followed a similar pattern, Keys claiming the only break in the sixth game and she never relinquished it en route to the final four.
While Williams' draw on paper looked incredibly tough, the premature exits of Simona Halep and Stephens have seen her enjoy a more routine passage, with only Kaia Kanepi taking a set off her.
But this has been her best run on the biggest stage and, after a real battle in the last round against fellow young gun Aryna Sabalenka, Osaka returned to her dominance of the first three matches.
Naomi Osaka of Japan is interviewed as she celebrates victory during her women's singles quarter-final match against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine of the 2018 US Open. "I think she can win a title now, even though grand slam".
It was a very comfortable afternoon for Osaka who became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. "I think this was really important part of the game".
The crisis soon deepened for Tsurenko, who had needed the best part of three hours on Monday to beat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a match where she nearly collapsed due to heat exhaustion.
Japan's previous best was at Wimbledon in 1995, when both Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date lost in the quarter-finals.
Until Osaka's run this year, the best NY performance by a Japanese woman was 2004 when Shinobu Asagoe reached the quarterfinals.
Osaka had consecutive 50-minute matches earlier in the tournament, including a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round.
"Unfortunately during this tournament I had many issues with my health, and today was not my day obviously".