Serena eyeing history but not looking past tough semifinal foe

Serena Williams will face Naomi Osaka

"I feel like that's one thing I really worked on was my moving because it was a little suspect right after my return, " Williams said. Keys ability to hit winners even from deep in the court is one of her most impressive attributes and one that Osaka will need to be wary of.

"Well, it definitely means a lot for me, and I always thought if I were to win a Grand Slam, the first one I'd want to win is the US Open, because I have grown up here and, like, then my grandparents can come and watch", she said.

It was just the latest in what's been a dominant run for Osaka.

Osaka earned a semifinal date against reigning runner-up Madison Keys on the biggest stage of her career after Keys defeated Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-4, 6-3.

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.

In a rematch of the 2014 final, it was the Japanese star who exacted his vengeance by squeezing through to the US Open semi-finals after a gruelling 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 victory in four hours and eight minutes.

But this US Open represents new and still uncharted territory for Williams, and nobody - least of all Serena - will say she's back until. she's back.

It was a much different outcome from 2014 when the big-hitting Cilic floored the Japanese counter-puncher 6-3 6-3 6-3 to claim the USA title.

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"I hate matches like this", said Tsurenko. Osaka routed Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1 in just 57 minutes, the third time in her five matches in the tournament that she finished in less than an hour.

The last Japanese woman to achieve a Grand Slam semi-final was Kimiko Date at Wimbledon in 1996 - a year before Osaka was born. "I think this was really important part of the game". Keys, the 2017 Open finalist, has made the quarterfinals of all four of the 2018 Grand Slams.

Meanwhile, Nishikori's victory over Marin Cilic was seen as sweet revenge for the 2014 US Open final, which ended in victory for the giant Croat.

"I felt good today".

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. In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes.

A flattered Williams said she especially likes the Ali reference, as she wants to inspire young people as Ali did. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her of acting after the match.

It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the high-80s (30s Celsius) but feeling some 10 degrees hotter with the humidity. That win came at the grand stage of Indian Wells, where Williams' two past titles came against Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters.

Williams first won at the U.S. Open in 1999 and has won the tournament six times.

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