Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

The Latvian made her third consecutive trip to the NY quarter-finals this year and knocked defending champion Sloane Stephens out to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

"She has taken a step into uncharted territory for Japanese women in NY", the paper added. "My entire body was shaking, but I was really glad I was able to play well today".

To win a title or even make a final in NY, where she and her sister Mari grew up learning tennis in a Haitian household with her father's parents and eating her mother's Japanese food, would speak to every part of Osaka's multicultural experience.

Madison Keys powered past Carla Suarez Navarro, winning 6-4 6-3, to set up a semi-final clash with Naomi Osaka.

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

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

Osaka's feat was credited with lifting the share price of her racquet producer Yonex, which soared more than 10 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange while the headline Nikkei index sank.

Her compatriot Nishikori had rather a more hard time of it in his matchup against Maric Cilic, taking five sets to oust the Croat, 2-6 6-4 7-6 4-6 6-4. Nishikori has said he doesn't have a home there, because his celebrity back in Japan is so huge. So obviously I know her game really well.

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Madison Keys was one of four American women in the US Open semifinals a year ago, when she was the runner-up.

Osaka proudly represents Japan on the court, but that financial decision was separate from her multicultural identity. She listens and understands but answers in English so she can give fuller, more nuanced responses. "I think it's because of Kei". I mean, I can not return like I used to.

So big, in fact, that she was too nervous to talk to him until recently.

Her title in Indian Wells came against a fellow up-and-comer, Daria Kasatkina, and though Osaka is prone to errors, she came alive under the pressure.

"I don't know why we always play five sets but it was good tennis". The statistics show she's backing up her prudence with power.

The match was a retread of their 2014 US Open final, but with happier results for the Japanese, who endured an injury-enforced absence for the last four months of 2017 after suffering a wrist injury in the run-up to the 2017 US Open.

The 29-year-old has also reached the quarterfinals of the three other Slams including Wimbledon this year, the first Japanese man to do so in 23 years.

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