Naomi Osaka, Jennifer Brady Power Their Way to Semis of US Open
(September 8, 2020) Naomi Osaka played powerful tennis with just 8 errors to defeat world No. 93, American Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 to reach the US Open semifinals on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Japanese-Haitian woman hit seven aces among 24 winners and getting the better of her opponent in baseline rallies. Osaka, who won the US Open two years ago will take on 28th seed, American Jennifer Brady for a chance to reach the final.
“I think the big thing for me was to be the aggressor and to be okay with making unforced errors,” Osaka said. Apparently I didn’t make that many. But, yeah, just to accept the unforced errors because I know that I’m going for shots.”
Rogers, from the Charleston area, is making her way back up the rankings after having had knee surgery in 2018.
“I’m really proud of myself,” she said. “I tried to do the right things. I thought she played very well. My first match on Ashe without the fans, so that was quite an experience. Check that off the bucket list. I played there before with a packed stadium, and it was very, very different.
“Overall really good week for me. A lot of positives.”
Jennifer Brady was the first to reach the final four at the US Open when she defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2 during the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium. It will be her first major semifinal. It’s been a career year for the woman from Pennsylvania, who won her first WTA title last month in Lexington, Kentucky.
Brady surged to a 4-0 lead in the opening set and really never looked back. This was her first win over Kazakh, she was 0-2 against her coming into the contest.
Brady was a college player at UCLA and was part of their 2014 NCAA championship team.
“Coming into the match today, honestly I was feeling like I was going to poop my pants, but I was very nervous,” she said in her news conference. “I just tried to really stay calm and, like, keep it cool as a cucumber out there.”
“I think it would have been awesome to have that experience to even just experience the loud roar on Ashe with 20,000 people.
“So I think, you know, I definitely would have enjoyed that, but the times that we’re in, unfortunately we can’t have that and I’m just happy to be out there competing.”
On playing Osaka: “She’s obviously a great player. Very powerful, big serve, big shots off the baseline, one-two punch. You know, she’s a really good player.”
Alexander Zverev is in his second straight major semifinal. The fifth seed rebounded from a horrible first set to squeak past No, 27 seed Borna Coric -6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-3. Ther German overcame 12 double-faults and 46 unforced errors to win the match against the Croat.
“I think there is a lot of guys with big chances,” Zverev said. “I’m in the semifinals, so I’m one of those four guys that will be remaining after tomorrow’s last match.
“So I think everybody has a chance. I still think that I can play better than I played today, which only gives me confidence because I’m in the semifinals and I still feel like I can improve.”
Zverev will meet No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta. Carreno Busta, who advanced when Novak Djokovic was defaulted, needed over four hours to oust No, 12 seed Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-3.
With the default of Novak Djokovic in the fourth round, there are no former major champions left in the draw, which insures a new men’s champion.