Serena Williams surges into US Open final with win over Anastasija Sevastova

Tennis US Open

The last Japanese woman to achieve a Grand Slam semi-final was Kimiko Date at Wimbledon in 1996 - a year before Osaka was born.

When Nishikori became the first Asian male to reach a Grand Slam singles final four years ago, hundreds of fans packed into a convention hall to cheer him on at a standing-room-only public viewing event in his hometown of Matsue.

The No. 20 seed continued what's been a largely dominant run through the draw by winning in just 57 minutes, the third time in her five matches she didn't even have to play an hour.

Long identified as a promising up-and-comer with power that causes Chris Evert to compare her to Serena Williams, Osaka has been asked about her background at every step of her career.

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"The quarters was sort of my mental goal, every time I played a Grand Slam", said Osaka.

But Williams started to find more pace on her shots as the set wore on. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her after the match of acting. 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 second set looked to be going the same way when the Croat broke again in game six for a 4-2 lead, but Nishikori dug in and hit straight back, winning the next three games to level the match.

After 40 minutes, Williams bullied her way artfully to take the first set, reading Sevastova's grip switch for the slice with uncanny accuracy, which allowed her to grab time for a dash to the net.

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Meanwhile, two-time US Open champion Djokovic will be playing in his 11th consecutive semi-final in NY, just two months after defying the odds to lift a 13th major at Wimbledon.

It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the high 80s but feeling about 10 degrees hotter with the humidity.

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.

"I hate matches like this", Tsurenko said. The American big-server recorded 64% first serves in, and won 80% of these first serve points - numbers in excess of her 12 month hard court mean.

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I could see some sparks, but we sit so low we don't see so much but I felt that something was not right and it was pointless so I came in.

Next up for Nishikori is a clash against either two-time champion and former world number one Novak Djokovic or John Millman, the Australian who stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round.

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