From diverse background, Naomi Osaka marches into forefront at U.S. Open

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I try to fight every point even though I was really exhausted.

Djokovic moved a step closer to a third championship at Flushing Meadows and 14th Grand Slam title overall by eliminating Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to get to the tournament's semifinals for an 11th appearance in a row.

Osaka, whose father is Haitian, is the first Japanese woman since the start of the Open era to reach the U.S. Open semifinals and the first to reach any Grand Slam semifinal since Kimiko Date did it in 1996 at Wimbledon.

To get to Saturday's championship match, 20th seed Osaka will have to get past USA 14th seed Madison Keys who breezed past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.

Newly minted U.S. Open semifinalist Naomi Osaka grew up on Long Island until she was 9, but tennis fans wouldn't be able to tell that by simply watching her on the court.

Nishikori allowed his advantage to slip, missing a break point that would have given him a 5-1 lead and then being pegged back to 4-4.

Since losing to Cilic in the final back in 2014, this was their first meeting at Flushing Meadows and Nishikori triumphed to make it back-to-back semi-finals for him in NY.

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The 20-year-old Osaka said she was nervous, claiming to be "freaking out inside" - though it certainly never showed. "So I feel, you know, big chance for her", Nishikori said.

Osaka, who lived in her native Japan until she was 3, started playing tennis in NY after her father saw the Williams sisters playing at the French Open in 1999 and chose to teach his daughters.

Against Tsurenko, Osaka barely broke a sweat, winning, 6-1, 6-1.

She raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and then 4-0 in the second against the shaky Tsurenko, who finished with more unforced errors than points in her first major quarterfinal. She is now based in Florida, trains with Bajin at Evert's academy in Boca Raton, and made the decision to play for Japan largely because of financial reasons - the Japanese federation offered more support money than the U.S. Tennis Association. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her of acting after the match. She won the Indian Wells Open and made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open. "I was not feeling well", Tsurenko told reporters.

Keys punched her ticket with a victory over Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday.

Key's compatriot Serena Williams will match up against Anastajia Sevastova in Thursday's other semi, with the six-time champion looking to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major wins - just a year after giving birth to her first child. Keys also lost to Stephens in the French Open semifinals this June.