Madison Keys clinical in victory against Carla Suarez Navarro

Madison Keys

"Great! I want to see her go against Serena in the final", said one Twitter user.

But a few hours later, Nishikori helped Osaka create an even more incredible slice of history.

Until Osaka's run this year, the best NY performance by a Japanese woman was 2004 when Shinobu Asagoe reached the quarterfinals.

Kei Nishikori advanced to the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday with a grinding 2-6 6-4 7-6 (5) 4-6-6-4 win over Marin Cilic, gaining a small measure of revenge on the man who crushed his grand slam dream in the 2014 final.

The Japanese sputtered along until earning his first break chance at 2-4 in the second set and was able to convert to get back on serve.

The No. 21 ranked Nishikori defeated No. 7 ranked Cilic in five sets, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

"She looks mature", he said. That was at Wimbledon in 1995, and both Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date lost in that round.

"I hate matches like this", said Tsurenko.

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.

It means Nishikori reaches a Grand Slam semi-final for the third time in his career. I'm really happy to be in the semi-final'.

Key's compatriot Serena Williams will match up against Anastajia Sevastova in Thursday's other semi, with the six-time champion looking to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major wins - just a year after giving birth to her first child.

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 felt good today".

She's the only member of that quartet who made it back to that round, using her big-strike game built on serves and forehands to overpower No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-3.

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.

Osaka had consecutive 50-minute matches earlier in the tournament, including a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round.

But after labouring through the heat in her previous match, Tsurenko said she was sick Wednesday, waking up with a sore throat and not breathing well. "I would say it's a similar style".

And he has now matched his best Grand Slam performance since reaching the final four of the 2016 US Open with an impressive victory over Cilic. So far in this Open, she's held opponents scoreless in three sets, and she's dropped only one set thus far.

It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the high 80s but feeling about 10 degrees hotter with the humidity.

It's their first meeting as Williams makes her ninth straight Open semifinal appearance, discounting the ones she's missed (2017, 2010).



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