NEW YORK           -   Naomi Osaka’s sharp serving and superior return game helped her past American Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-4 and into the semi-finals of the U.S. Open on Tuesday as the Japanese continues her quest for a second title at Flushing Meadows. 

Osaka, who was 0-3 lifetime against Rogers coming into the match, broke at love to take a 5-3 lead in the first set where Rogers hit 16 unforced errors to Osaka’s five and held serve to claim the set. The fourth seeded Osaka broke again early in the second set for a 2-1 lead and sealed the win when Rogers dumped a forehand into the net on match point for her 28th unforced error. “Honestly, I felt like she had the upper hand because I’d never beaten her and those memories are stuck in my head,” said the 22-year-old Osaka, who last faced Rogers in 2017. “So, yeah, I consider this a little bit of revenge.” 

Osaka once again had tape wrapped around her left thigh but said it was just as a precaution. Despite the loss Rogers will hold her head high after the 27-year-old saved four match points to defeat Petra Kvitova to reach her first U.S. Open quarter-final. Next up for Osaka is in-form American Jennifer Brady, who continued her surprising surge at the US Open with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva. 

The 28th-seeded Brady, who has yet to drop a set at this year’s U.S. Open, used her massive forehand and impressive court coverage to deny Putintseva in her bid to become the first Kazakh woman to reach the final four of any major. “I came out with nerves obviously ... so I just tried to treat it like all the other matches and pretend like it was a first-round match,” said Brady. “I was happy with the way I started and I think I was able to keep the momentum and build off that.” 

Meanwhile in men’s singles, German fifth seed Alexander Zverev survived a stern test of nerve to reach his second Grand Slam semi-final this year with a 1-6 7-6(5) 7-6(1) 6-3 victory over Croatian Borna Coric at the U.S. Open. 

After a slow start, Zverev raised his game and showed more poise in the crucial moments against the 27th seed to become the first German to reach the last four at the U.S. Open since Boris Becker in 1995. “I just started playing maybe a little bit more aggressive because if I would’ve played the way I played (at the start), it’s not the level for a quarter-final match at a Grand Slam,” said Zverev. 

Pablo Carreno Busta outlasted an erratic Denis Shapovalov 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 0-6 6-3 in a seesaw battle lasting over four hours to advance to his second U.S. Open semi-final. The 29-year-old Spaniard, the oldest of the men’s quarter-finalists at Flushing Meadows, looked to be heading for his first loss on hardcourts to his Canadian opponent after Shapovalov served him a bagel in the fourth set. 

However, after getting some treatment to his lower back, 2017 semi-finalist Carreno Busta fought back gamely to seal the deciding set in a match that went past 1 a.m. in New York. After spending just an hour on court in his previous round when world number one Novak Djokovic was disqualified, Carreno Busta was understandably drained.