Osaka crushes Tsurenko in US Open quarters

2018 US Open -- Kei Nishikori outlasts Marin Cilic in 5 sets to reach semifinals

Said an emotional Osaka after her hard-fought victory, "I wouldn't forgive myself if I managed to lose that".

Former world number-four Nishikori, 29, pulled off a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4 victory this time.

He had two game points for a 5-2 lead but a double fault and a backhand wide opened the door for Cilic, who stormed through, shouting "Got it!" when he secured the break to narrow the gap to 4-3.

Osaka represents Japan and was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, but the family moved to NY when she was three before relocating to Florida five years later.

Osaka, who is just 20 years old, is having a terrific 2018 season.

Up next up for Osaka will be the victor of the evening match between 2017 runner-up Madison Keys, who at 14 is the highest seed left in the women's draw, and Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Keys, the runner-up to Sloane Stephens a year ago, took her record over Suarez Navarro to 4-0 thanks to a break in the ninth game of the first set and sixth of the second.

"Overall, he's just really nice and positive and bubbly and stuff", Osaka said. "I thought it was really cool".

The No. 21-seeded Nishikori continued his strong season after returning from a wrist injury that forced him to miss the US Open a year ago.

"Unfortunately during this tournament I had many issues with my health, and today was not my day obviously".

That penchant to perform in big moments makes her coach feel better about Osaka's relative lack of experience as she moves deeper into the U.S. Open. In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes. So far in this Open, she's held opponents scoreless in three sets, and she's dropped only one set thus far.

Osaka's first serve percentage was only 59 percent but she did not concede a point behind her first serve the entire first set and only surrendered seven points on serve over the match.

It was another hot afternoon Wednesday, with temperatures in the high-80s (30s Celsius) but feeling some 10 degrees hotter with the humidity.

It wasn't the cleanest of matches as the grueling heat at Arthur Ashe Stadium seemed to force both competitors into a slew of mistakes over the course of the four-plus hour match.

"I hate matches like this", Tsurenko said.

She pushed some balls a few feet past the baseline, often failing to make Osaka do anything special to win a point and finishing with 31 unforced errors.

The Aussie saved another four in the opening game of the second set and as the duel continued both players were clearly feeling the effects of long, entertaining rallies.

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