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Madison Keys searching for US Open redemption and glory

09 September, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Madison Keys beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday in her U.S. Open quarterfinal match. More

Still in search of her first Grand Slam title, the 14th-seeded Keys reached her third semi-final in the past five majors by using her big-strike game built on serves and forehands to overpower No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-3 at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday night.

Keys was one of four American women in the final four a year ago, when she was the runner-up to Sloane Stephens.

Tennis is not as big in Japan as baseball, soccer or sumo, but Osaka's 6-2 6-4 semi-final win over Keys made the front pages of major local newspapers on Thursday - although it was dwarfed by news of the quake that struck the northern island of Hokkaido earlier that day.

The victor of the Osaka-Keys showdown will face 23-time major champion Serena Williams or 19th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in Saturday's decider.

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. 29th seed Dominika Cibulkova, who had upset fourth seed Angelique Kerber in the third round, gave her little trouble in a 6-1 6-3 Keys win.

Madison Keys celebrates winning the first set during her women's singles quarter-final match against Carla Suarez Navarro on Day 10 of the U.S. Open, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in NY, on September 5, 2018.

"It's great to see", said Nishikori, who will play 13-time major champion Novak Djokovic or John Millman in the semi-finals.

She purported to be "freaking out inside", even if it certainly never showed. No. 20 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine are both looking for their first semifinal appearance when they meet in the day's first quarterfinal in Arthur Ashe stadium.

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Several players have said during the past two weeks that the courts are playing differently this year.

"Just like my entire body was shaking, so I'm really glad I was able to play well today", she said.

Osaka's leap forward this year has come under the guidance of Sascha Bajin, who previously worked as a hitting partner for Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. "Big serves. Big hitters, both of them", Bajin said.

On Wednesday, Osaka only needed 12 winners because a whopping 31 of her other points came via unforced errors by Tsurenko.

There were other issues for him, too, including in the third set when, ahead by a break, he was called by the chair umpire for allowing the 25-second serve clock, making its Grand Slam debut at this tournament, to run out on back-to-back points.

Kei Nishikori outlasted Marin Cilic in a rematch of the 2014 U.S. Open final, moving into the semifinals with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 victory. U.S. Open officials began putting it in play last week, when temperatures first soared into the mid-90s.

"I'm working very hard, and we are all in the team, to make sure that Naomi one day might own the court like Serena", Bajin said.



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