NAOMI Osaka counted in 22 years in the first Grand Slam semi-final by a Japanese woman, in which Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1 was routed on Wednesday in the American Open quarter-finals.
The number 20 seed went on what was a largely dominant run by winning the draw in only 57 minutes, the third time in her five games she did not even have to play an hour.
She drove to a 3-0 lead in the first set and then 4-0 in the second against the shaky Tsurenko, who ended with more unforced errors than points in her first big quarterfinal.
Osaka will either have the 14th placed Madison Keys or No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro face in the first major semi-final appearance for a Japanese since Kimiko Date reached the last four at Wimbledon in 1996.
Osaka, born in Japan but moved to the US at the age of 3, was followed at Arthur Ashe Stadium by Kei Nishikori opposite Marin Cilic in a men's quarterfinals. Osaka and Nishikori were the first Japanese woman and man to make the quarterfinals of the same Grand Slam since Date and Shuzo Matsuoka at Wimbledon in 1995.
The 20-year-old said she was nervous and claimed to be from inside to outside & # 39; – although it has certainly never been shown.
"Just like my whole body was trembling, so I'm really happy to be able to play well today," she said.
She won 59 points to only 28 for Ukrainians without seeds, who knocked out No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.
But after working through the heat in her last game, Tsurenko said she was sick on Wednesday, woke up with a sore throat and did not breathe properly. "Unfortunately, during this tournament I had a lot of problems with my health and today was not my day, I did not feel well," she said. Osaka had consecutive games of 50 minutes earlier in the tournament, including a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing by Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round. She was finally tested in round 16 and drove past No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in just over 2 hours, but she again had full control over Tsurenko and won 20 of 22 points ( 91 percent) at her first registration.
Tsurenko worked in the heat during her fourth round victory at Marketa Vondrousova, letting her temperature and blood check during a medical timeout in the first set and almost stopped when she was training in the second. She recovered and won in three sets, her opponent accusing her of acting after the game.
It was another hot afternoon on Wednesday, with temperatures in the high-80s (30s Celsius) but you feel about 10 degrees warmer with the humidity. Tsurenko did not seem to be bothered by the circumstances, but whether it was her health or only the first creep, she was gone from the moment she stepped into Arthur Ashe Stadium.
She pushed a couple of balls a few meters past the baseline, often failing to let Osaka do something special to win a point and ended with 31 unforced errors. "I hate matches like this," Tsurenko said. "I did not want to show this kind of games for this big crowd, but unfortunately I can not play now." –
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