US Open 2018 | Keys and Osaka coast into the semi-finals


In a battle of the young guns, 2017 runner-up Madison Keys takes on Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka for a place in the US Open final.

And it will be a double celebration in the Asian country this weekend if Kei Nishikori beats 13-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic in the men's semi-finals on Friday.

American Madison Keys clinched her second consecutive U.S. Open semi-final berth on Wednesday, using her powerful serve and fiery forehand to get an edge on 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro and win 6-4 6-3.

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. The Osaka, Japan, native flew threw the quarterfinal round in less than an hour, beating Ukranie's Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1.

She leads Osaka 3-0 in head to head and most recently defeated the 20th seed in straight sets in the third round at Roland Garros in June.

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

"So I knew that I was going to have to play really well but also know that she's going to come up with some great shots and defend really well".

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On the women's side, Madison Keys is into her third semifinal in the past five Grand Slam tournaments, including two in a row at the U.S. Open.

"I just woke up today with a viral illness", said Tsurenko afterwards. Don't be surprised if you see a completely new Keys. That was at Wimbledon in 1995, and both Kimiko Date and Shuzo Matsuoka lost in that round.

Yet many Japanese appear to have embraced the endearing Osaka, charmed by her off-court genuineness as much as her on-court ferocity.

"I felt good tonight, I'm really happy to be in the semifinal", said Keys.

But after laboring through the heat in her previous match, Tsurenko said she was sick Wednesday, waking up with a sore throat and not breathing well. She purported to be "freaking out inside", even if it certainly never showed.

"The combination of her strength and childlike innocence is her charm", said the conservative-leaning Yomiuri, another major daily. "I was not feeling well", she said.

Keys was ineffective at the net, broken three times and left playing catch-up for most of the contest as her inspired opponent stayed solid to set up a final showdown against Serena Williams on Saturday. That said, in Keys Osaka faces one of the few players capable of matching her blow for blow and not missing. I know now, as a home favourite, to let myself let the crowd in and let them help me. "I still haven't totally processed this match".