Japan hails Osaka, Nishikori's historic run at US Open


It wasn't as easy for Kei Nishikori, who had to battle out a five-set marathon against No. 7 Marin Cilic to make his third US Open semifinal.

She's the only member of that quartet who made it back to that round.

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 US title. "And not shying away from those, but just really being honest about it and talking about it".

Tsurenko, the only unseeded woman to reach this stage of the tournament, appeared to be feeling the effects of her last-16 clash during which she struggled in the searing heat and at one point looked like she was about to collapse. Flushing Meadows might be more special to the player herself, however: it was the venue of her first-ever Grand Slam title, way back in 1999.

Keys has made it this far in a major for the fourth time in her career.

Keys made it all the way through to the final previous year before she was stopped by fellow American Sloane Stephens at Flushing Meadows.

The women's semifinals are on tap Thursday night with Williams, the 17th seed playing her first Open since motherhood, facing Latvia's scrappy No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova at 7 p.m.

For the first time in the Open Era there will be a Japanese man and woman in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam after contrasting victories for Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori.

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

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This year, Williams' French Open appearance - her first Grand Slam since the birth of her child, was watched closely by fans, and the American progressed to Round 4 of the tournament having dropped only a set. So obviously I know her game really well.

Only once previously in the professional era, which began in 1968, did Japan have a men's and women's player in the quarterfinals at the same tournament. That was at Wimbledon in 1995, and both Kimiko Date and Shuzo Matsuoka lost in that round.

For Osaka, her victory is the latest milestone in a watershed year for the 20-year-old who won her first WTA Tour title in Indian Wells, Calif., in March. "And then after I went into the quarters, I want to keep going, so I feel like I have to be focused again and keep trying really hard", she said.

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

Osaka, like many her age, is a power hitter.

Keys: 'I felt good today.

"That's a really big step for me, " Williams said. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who bested Kvitova at Wimbledon, fared even worse and had to endure a humbling 0-6 0-6 loss.

Tsurenko labored in the heat during her fourth-round victory over Marketa Vondrousova, having her temperature and blood checked during a medical timeout in the first set and almost quitting when she trailed early in the second.