US Open: Naomi Osaka ends Japan's 22-year wait; faces Madison Keys for final spot

Sep 07, 2018, 08:16 IST | AFP

Osaka, 20, wasn't born when compatriot Kimiko Date made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996, but now she has the opportunity to go one better by reaching a maiden Grand Slam final

US Open: Naomi Osaka ends Japan's 22-year wait; faces Madison Keys for final spot
Naomi Osaka is all smiles after her win over Lesia Tsurenko. Pic/AFP

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam on Wednesday when she defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1 in the last-eight of the US Open, admitting she was "freaking out" inside.

Osaka, 20, wasn't born when compatriot Kimiko Date made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996, but now she has the opportunity to go one better by reaching a maiden Grand Slam final. Later Wednesday, Osaka was joined in the record books by compatriot Kei Nishikori who reached his third semi-final at the US Open. It's the first time that a Japanese man and woman have made the semis at the same Slam.

Madison Keys
Madison Keys

To get to Saturday's championship match, 20th seed Osaka will have to get past US 14th seed Madison Keys, who breezed past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3. Keys, the 2017 runner-up, leads Osaka 3-0 in career meetings including the third round at the US Open in 2016 when she battled back from 1-5 in the final set to triumph.

"It really means a lot to get to the semis," said Osaka whose post-match, on-court interview endeared her further to a growing legion of fans. Osaka celebrated her win calmly and coolly unlike the floods of tears which greeted her last-16 victory over Aryna Sabalenka.

"I cried a lot last time and there were lots of people making fun of me. So his time I went straight to the net. I was freaking out inside and my whole body was shaking but overall I am most proud of not breaking a racquet," she added.

Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Do you know these interesting facts about India's leading bowler R Ashwin

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK