After Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova set up their semifinal meeting on Tuesday, Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys completed the final four on Wednesday, beating their quarterfinal opponents in straight sets.
The 20th-seeded Osaka lost just two games against unseeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko to reach her maiden Grand Slam semifinal and become the first Japanese woman to reach this stage of a Grand Slam since Kimiko Date at Wimbledon in 1996.
The 20-year-old needed only 57 minutes for a 6-1 6-1 victory, even though the nerves threatened to paralyze her:
I was freaking out inside. My entire body was shaking, so I’m glad I was able to play well.
The 2017 US Open runner-up Keys, at No.14 the highest seed in this year’s semifinals, never conceded her own service game in a 6-4 6-3 win over Spanish seed No.30 Carla Suarez Navarro, the player who was superb in beating Maria Sharapova in the previous round. One break in the final game of the first set and one in the sixth game of the second set were enough for the American to get one step away from defending her last year’s points. Note that Keys is the only woman to have reached at least the quarterfinals of three of the four Grand Slams this season.