In-form Osaka breezes into US Open last four

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam.

The difficult weather conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium did little to slow US Open starlet Naomi Osaka as she moved into the semifinals.   -  AP

Naomi Osaka raced to a big 6-1, 6-1 win over the ailing Lesia Tsurenko to move into her first grand slam semifinal at the US Open.

The Japanese has largely, with the exception Aryna Sabalenka last time out, made light work of each of her opponents at Flushing Meadows and there was no change on Wednesday as Osaka dominated.

She will face Carla Suarez Navarro or Madison Keys in the last four, while a showpiece meeting with role model Serena Williams remains on the cards for the 20-year-old in the final.

The unseeded Tsurenko was playing in her own maiden grand slam quarter-final, but this dream match turned into something of a nightmare as she seemingly felt the heat and Osaka took full advantage.

Tsurenko had been required to leave the court in her last-16 match, saying she had "never felt so bad", and the tough conditions in New York appeared to affect her throughout once more.

Contrastingly, Florida-trained Osaka was optimistic pre-match that the searing heat would not affect her at Arthur Ashe Stadium and, just two games in, Tsurenko was bent double and clearly struggling again.

The Ukrainian had already lost a break after an error-strewn first service game and Osaka, pushing again, soon made another gain to serve for the set.

The 20th seed made light work of securing the lead and then, in the second, claimed another swift break as Tsurenko let slip her 40-0 advantage and sent a costly shot wide on the right.

With the pressure mounting as Osaka breezed through hold after hold, Tsurenko buckled again and went long from the first of two break points to set her opponent on course for a routine victory.

A belated response saw Tsurenko secure three break points of her own, but Osaka quickly closed the door in an impressive hold, before taking a first match point as her opponent caught the net just before the hour mark.

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