Nishikori, Osaka give Japan historic tennis day at US Open

Naomi Osaka US Open

Only once in the professional era that began in 1968 had Japan had a men's and women's player in the quarterfinals at the same tournament.

Japan's previous best was at Wimbledon in 1995, when both Shuzo Matsuoka and Kimiko Date lost in the quarter-finals.

Nishikori won the rematch of the 2014 final in a match that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes.

Nishikori will be playing in his third US Open semi-final after similar runs in 2014 and 2016.

The momentum continued to swing dramatically, with Nishikori breaking before being pegged back by Cilic once more. Cilic started well, taking the opening set and going up a break in the second.

He also lead with a break in the third-set tie-break before hitting two consecutive double faults to gift Nishikori the advantage.

Though he clawed his way back into the set, it was the 21st seed who got over the line as Cilic again imploded in a breaker.

Kei Nishikori is headed to the US Open semifinal following a dramatic upset victory over Marin Cilic on Wednesday. "Like a part of me knew it was coming, but at the same time I was always very unprepared", Osaka said.

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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. "Because I have grown up here and, like, then my grandparents can come and watch. I thought it was really cool".

Osaka, the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian father, said she enjoyed playing in the blistering heat of NY which has been such a talking point of the tournament.

Osaka's next opponent will likely be her toughest yet, as she's set to face Madison Keys in the semifinals.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who has looked comfortable on one of the sport's biggest stages, was tearful after her fourth-round clash but much less emotional after her latest win.

"I don't really feel pressure from them", Osaka said.

She won 59 points to just 28 for the unseeded Ukrainian, who knocked off No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.

It was then Vera Zvonareva she'd beaten in straight sets and dominated Petra Kvitova in only 2 consistent sets to prove she meant business.

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

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