Williams, Keys hoping to make an American US Open final

Tyler Owen
September 7, 2018

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.

Keys, the No. 14 seed and runner-up a year ago, faces No. 20 Naomi Osaka of Japan in the night's other semifinal.

Breaks were at a premium in the first set, both players holding serve until Suarez Navarro cracked at a decisive moment in the 10th game.

Barely a year after giving birth to daughter Olympia, Williams is on the cusp of regaining her winning ways at almost 37 years old, having returned to the tour in March but only recent rediscovered the movement necessary to triumph. The other women's semifinal is 23-time major champion Serena Williams against No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia.

"I was really nervous, I remember", said Nishikori of the Flushing final, the closest he's come to a major trophy.

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 two hours, but she was back in complete control against Tsurenko, winning 20 of 22 points (91 percent) on her first serve.

Keys and Suarez Navarro met three times previously, with Keys winning all three matches in three sets.

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She won 59 points to just 28 for the unseeded Ukrainian, who knocked off No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round. That win was followed by a 4-6 6-1 6-2 comeback victory against Ekaterina Makarova and a seesawing triumph against seventh seed Elina Svitolina who she bested 6-3 1-6 6-0.

The 21st-seeded Nishikori and No. 7 Cilic traded the lead and momentum for more than 4 hours. The flag next to her name displayed on monitors throughout Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is Japan's - her mother's homeland, the country of her birth and the country she represents in competition.

She said: "It means a lot".

"I hate matches like this", Tsurenko said.

"There is no stopping the Japanese players", screamed the Nikkan Gendai tabloid, after the pair became the first from the country to secure semi-final berths in both singles competitions during a Grand Slam. I remember I wasn't there for the match.

Djokovic needed two four-setters in his opening rounds but cruised through in straight sets against Richard Gasquet and John Millman. 'They wanted to see me play and I wanted to give them the best that I can.

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