Williams, Keys hoping to make an American US Open final

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

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.

Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori have created tennis history at the US Open.

Only once had Japan had a man and woman reach the quarterfinals of the same major, and Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date both lost in that round at Wimbledon in 1995.

Nishikori rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes.

"To break in both sets, having solid games there, was really important tonight", Keys said in her on-court post-match interview. "My entire body was shaking so I was really glad I was able to play well today".

The speedy win over Tsurenko was the third time Osaka has wrapped up victory in under an hour in NY and should allow her to be fresh for Thursday's semi-final.

Nishikori, part of a history-making double act with Naomi Osaka in NY as the first Japanese man and woman to make the semi-finals of the same Slam, missed the 2017 US Open with a wrist injury. So I know how to volley, but I usually come [to the net] just to shake hands.

Her battle against Osaka promises to be an enticing affair.

"I didn't celebrate [after winning] because the other time I cried a little bit and people made fun of me so I thought I'd go straight to the net".

Tsurenko, who stunned Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, is still projected to rise 10 spots to a career-high 26th in the world rankings. 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.

"Today was not my day, obviously", Tsurenko said.

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. "No matter what happens in any match, semis, finals, I just feel like I've already won".

It had taken Williams half an hour to settle into that familiar, chilling rhythm and, once she took the sting out of her opponent's slice, especially on the backhand, she looked more like the player who had taken just 91 games, one surrendered set and six-and-a-half hours to account for five players in this tournament.

"I hate matches like this", said Tsurenko.

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