After having an emotional experience when reaching the US Open quarter-finals, it’s now back to business for Naomi Osaka.
The Japanese star set herself the goal of reaching the final eight in a grand slam and after surviving a second set comeback from Aryna Sabalenka, she achieved that goal.
Next up for Osaka was an admittedly ill Lesia Tsurenko, who she dispatched in straight sets on Wednesday. The win saw the 20th seed become the first Japanese women to reach the final four of grand slam since 1996 and the first ever to reach that stage at the US Open.
“It means a lot,” quipped the 20-year-old after the landmark victory.
“But for me I feel like I was much more emotional for the quarters. And then now I feel like it’s sort of like business again.
“Quarters was sort of my mental goal, like every time I played a Grand Slam. And then after I went into the quarters, I kind of want to keep going, so I feel like I have to be focused again and keep trying really hard.”
Standing between Osaka and more history making is the powerful Madison Keys. The duo have faced off twice before, with the American emerging triumphant on both occasions.
They first met at the Flushing Meadows in 2016, where Osaka grabbed the second set then lost in a third set tiebreak. Speaking of the clash, Osaka is glad for the experience.
“I feel like I learned a lot the match I played here two years ago, which people keep bringing up,” she continued.
“I’m grateful that I had that experience.”
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