Naomi Osaka enjoyed a comfortable 6-1 6-1 win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko at the U.S. Open on Wednesday to become the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach the semi-final stage of a Grand Slam.
The 20th-seeded Osaka, a rising talent who won her first career title in March at Indian Wells, used a lethal ground game and solid serving to overwhelm a fatigued Tsurenko, who laboured in stifling conditions on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Osaka, the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Kimiko Date at Wimbledon in 1996, broke Tsurenko five times during a match that only lasted 57 minutes.
The 20-year-old Osaka, who has looked comfortable on one of the sport’s biggest stages, was tearful after her fourth-round clash but much less emotional after her latest win.
“The other time I cried a little bit and there was a lot of people making fun of me,” Osaka said during her on-court interview. “I was freaking out inside, just like my whole body was shaking, so I’m really glad I was able to play well.”
Osaka’s first serve percentage was only 59 percent but she did not concede a point behind her first serve the entire first set and only surrendered seven points on serve over the match.
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