US Open 2018 Highlights, Women’s singles semi-finals: Serena Williams progressed to second straight majors final by beating Anastasija Sevastova in comfortable fashion – 6-3, 6-0 for her ninth final at the US Open and 31st overall. After dropping the first two games, Serena powered through winning the next 12 of 13 games. In the final she will face 20-year-old Naomi Osaka who will be making her first grand slam final appearance and is the first Japanese player to reach the final of a major. She saved 13 break points on her way to beating Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 in the second semifinal on a closed Arthur Ashe Stadium owing to expected thunderstorms in the Flushing Meadows area. The final will be played on Saturday.
US Open 2018, Women's Singles semi-finals Score and Updates:
US Open 2018 Live: Final stats
Osaka: 2 aces, 1 double-fault, 70% 1st serves in, 64% 1st serves won, 58% 2nd serve points won, 72% returns in play, 3 of 4 break points won, 13 of 13 break points saved, 13 winners, 20 unforced errors.
Keys: 3 aces, 0 double-faults, 72% 1st serves in, 68% 1st serve points won, 38% 2nd serve points won, 72% returns in play, 0 of 13 break points won, 1 of 4 break points saved, 23 winners, 32 unforced errors.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka post-match interview
Naomi Osaka after the match:
“This is going to sound really bad, but I just really wanted to play Serena.”—Naomi Osaka, on how she saved all 13 of Madison Keys’ break points. #USOpen
— TENNIS.com (@Tennis) September 7, 2018
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2, 6-4 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Naomi Osaka now serving for the match. Drops the first point and then comes back to make it 15-15. Forces Madison Keys into an error and its 30-15. Angled shot on the backhand and Keys sends hers wide. MATCH POINT! Serve into Keys' body and she fails to get it back. Hits the top of the frame and into the crowd. NAOMI OSAKA WINS 6-2, 6-4 TO SET UP FINAL WITH SERENA WILLIAMS IN THE 2019 US OPEN.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 6-2, 5-4 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Service hold at love for Madison Keys from a position of disadvantage. An ace down the tee and she has put the onus on Naomi Osaka on sealing her first grand slam final berth
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2, 5-3 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
13th break point chance for Madison Keys as Naomi Osaka sends her backhand wide. And again it goes waste. Osaka slips once during the point and maintains her composure to send her forehand winner past Keys. Back to deuce. Errors piling up for Keys and it brings up game point for Osaka before the American hammers in a forehand winner down the line. No running for that. Poor serve reply and Keys sends the backhand long. What a smooth backhand down the line and Keys can't get it back.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2, 4-2 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Just when you start to think Madison Keys is starting to get her range right and swining the racket right, Naomi Osaka gets the key points. Holds from a stiff position once again and maintains her break
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 6-2, 3-2 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
After the drama and pressure of the 12 minute game, both players hold their serve comfortably after. Madison Keys continues to trail but she looks more confidently now than she did in the first set.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 6-2, 2-1 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Madison Keys finally wins a game. She lets out a huge scream of "C'mon!" as she makes her way to the chair. Needs to be pumped up if she is to make a way back from this.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2, 2-0 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
This game needs two different updates, clearly. Keys with a drop shot, Osaka picks it up and Madison's outstretched volley is long. Keys goes for too much on the forehand and it sails long. What a crucial hold that could be. 12 break points gone for Keys, 5 in this game.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2, 1-0 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Madison Keys has squandered six break point chances but she continues to create chances. 17 shot rally with both players thrashing the ball on the forehand and Keys blinks in the end to let a seventh break point go waste. She creates another one as Osaka sends her forehand long. And saved once again! Osaka finding the smallest of angles and the backhand reply is off the line to bring it back to deuce. Another chance now for Keys as the game reaches almost eight minutes. Keys with a thumping forehand winner on the serve. But she follows it up with a return into the net. 0/9 on break points now Keys. 10th break point chance now for Keys with a lovely drop shot volley. And make that another chance going to waste. Osaka with a big serve and opening up the court with a deep reply. 6th deuce of the game now. Osaka with a backhand into the net and yet another break point - fifth of this game. Will this be it? Game over 10 minutes now. WHAT. A. SECOND. SERVE. Huge, huge ace down the tee and Keys can't help but smile with the bravery on that serve. Another break point for Keys and another ace. What is this game?
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 6-2, 1-0 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
BREAK! What a woeful way to begin the second set for Madison Keys. She sends her forehand long on break point. Osaka challenged the call and it is indeed long. From 30-15 up, Keys has her serve broken. Six straight games now for Serena. Is this a repeat of the first semifinal?
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 6-2 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Naomi Osaka pushed on serve yet again - down to 0-30. But she wins three straight points to bring up set point. Keys with an impatient backhand into the net bringing that opportunity. Keys with a fierce forehand return on the serve and Osaka sends her reply into the net. Deuce. Long rally from the back of the court and it sees Keys send her forehand into the net. Created an opening in that point but didn't make it count. FIRST SET NAOMI OSAKA! Five straight games for Osaka and she takes the first set 6-2 in 37 minutes
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 5-2 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
BREAK! Madison Keys is broken at love and that was a poor, poor serving game from the American. Naomi Osaka to serve for the first set when the players change ends.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 4-2 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Osaka's serve once again coming under pressure. Keys doing well to turn defence into offense with strong groundstrokes. Osaka coming from a break point down to bring it to deuce. But Keys staying in it with some persistence. Osaka doing well on the ad court and brings the game back to deuce by going after the backhand. On the deuce side, Osaka stretching Keys on the forehand. Keys goes for too much on the forehand and sends it long. Two break points saved and Osaka leads 4-2.
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka 3-2 *Madison Keys (* denotes server)
BREAK! Naomi Osaka takes the lead in this semifinal. Had two break point chances, one goes begging but makes the second count. On the run, she sends a deep forehand return and Keys can only send her reply into the net. 3-2 to Osaka in the first set
US Open 2018 Live: Osaka going for history
Naomi Osaka is the youngest Japanese woman and third overall in the Open Era to reach the semifinals of a major. Tonight she tries to become the 1st Japanese woman to reach a Slam final
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 2-2 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Three break points for Keys after poor serving from Naomi Osaka. One saved as Keys with a wild forehand. Another one saved with a serve into the body and results into an error. Third saved as well, fist pump from Osaka, as Keys sends her backhand into the net. Coach Lindsay Davenport is not pleased. Another chance for Keys after Osaka sends her backhand wide. Two thumping forehands cross court and back to deuce. Lovely shot making from Naomi. Holds as Keys sends her stretched forehand wide. From 0-40 down to hold! 2-2 in the first set
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka* 1-1 Madison Keys (* denotes server)
Naomi Osaka keeping the first set on serve early on. Comfortable hold by both players and early signs already of big hitting from the back of the court
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka vs Madison Keys
Naomi Osaka's ROAD TO SEMI-FINALS:
First round: beat Laura Siegemund (Germany) 6-3 6-2
Second round: beat Julia Glushko (Israel) 6-2 6-0
Third Round: beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) 6-0 6-0
Fourth Round: beat 26-Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) 6-3 2-6 6-4
Quarter-finals: beat Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) 6-1 6-1
Madison Keys' ROAD TO SEMI-FINALS:
First round: beat Pauline Parmentier (France) 6-4 6-4
Second round: beat Bernarda Pera (U.S.) 6-4 6-1
Third Round: beat Aleksandra Krunic (Serbia) 4-6 6-1 6-2
Fourth Round: beat Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) 6-1 6-3
Quarter-finals: beat Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 6-4 6-3
US Open 2018 Live: Naomi Osaka vs Madison Keys
Next up on Arthur Ashe Stadium is Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys. Osaka in her first slam semis and Keys looking to book second US Open final spot in two years. Coming through for the match, Osaka wishes to have fun and make the match fun for the people. Keys reckons both players are good hitters and expects the ball to come with as much speed as she hits it.
US Open 2018 Live: Final stats from Serena vs Sevastova
Serena: 4 aces, 1 double-faults, 64% 1st serves in, 76% 1st serves won, 50% 2nd serves won, 77% returns in play, 5 of 10 on break points, 1 of 2 break points saved, 31 winners, 20 unforced errors.
Sevastova: 1 ace, 2 double-faults, 60% 1st serves in, 64% 1st serves won, 18% 2nd serves won, 80% returns in play, 1 of 2 break points won, 5 of 10 break points saved, 10 winners, 12 unforced errors.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena Williams post-match interview
Serena Williams after the match: "I've been working hard on my volleys. I have won a few doubles championships, so I know how to volley. I just usually only come in only to shake hands."
"A year ago I was fighting, literally for my life in the hospital. Every time I step out on this court I'm so grateful I have an opportunity to play this sport. No matter what happens semis or finals, I feel like I've already won."
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 6-3, 6-0 Sevastova (* denotes server)
SERENA WILLIAMS IS INTO THE US OPEN FINAL! Holds at love and she is into back-to-back major finals. She wins 6-2, 6-0. Her 21st bagel of the US Open and third this year. Winning 12 of the last 13 games.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 6-3, 5-0 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
BREAK! Serena Williams giving Sevastova no chance whatsoever. Ever since the drop shot in the third game of the first set, Serena has had a measure of Sevastova each step of the way. Moving to the net so much more in the set and taking the attack on the Latvian. 5-0!
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 6-3, 4-0 Sevastova (* denotes server)
Serena Williams claws herself out of potential danger. She is 21/25 at the net in the match with 10/11 in this set alone. From 0-30 down, she makes it 30-30 with confident play once again. Nothing Sevastova could really do against this onslaught. Holds after having Sevastova on the run and the forehand goes long. 4-0 to Serena now
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 6-3, 3-0 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
Sevastova gets the drop to work this time but Serena is quick to read it and get to it. Sevastova tries to lob but sends it long to bring up break point. Sevastova with a tame backhand shank into the net and Serena now has a 3-0, two break lead.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 6-3, 2-0 Sevastova (* denotes server)
Sevastova with little look at maybe breaking Serena's serve at 30-30. But the 23-time grand slam champion is a wall at the net. Unbreachable. Moving in to the net and giving Sevastova no chance or space to find a pass
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 6-3, 1-0 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
Dreadful start to the second set for Sevastova. A double fault and loose shots to get things underway and Serena has three break points. All three saved with powerful shots before a lucky leave on the Serena pass does go long. Called in but Sevastova challenges and it has indeed gone long. Serena brings up another break point by moving towards the net with some help from the net. Poor drop shot once again and Serena pounces on it for the break. BREAK! All Serena now!
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 6-3 Sevastova (* denotes server)
Serena's serve down the Tee clips the line and brings up two set points for the six-time champion. FIRST SET SERENA WILLIAMS 6-3! Powerful forehand from Serena as she moves forehand and Sevastova is needed to bring up a backhand pass but the reply is wide. First set to Serena in just under 40 minutes
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 5-3 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
After losing five straight games, Sevastova gets one and will force Serena into holding her serve and taking the first set. A comfortable hold this time.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 5-2 Sevastova (* denotes server)
After 7 games in the first set:
Serena: 14 winners, 10 unforced errors.
Sevastova: 6 winners, 8 unforced errors.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 5-2 Sevastova (* denotes server)
HOLD! Confident and comfortable hold for Serena as she continues her impressive run of serving at the US Open. Overcoming that early blip, Serena smashes to hold at 15 and is now within a game of taking a set lead
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 4-2 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
Sevastova's first serve percentage noise diving and Serena crushing the second serves. From 40-15 ahead, Sevastova is back to deuce and getting her serve ploughed. Over 80% on first serve points won and miserable 25% on the second. Goes for a backhand drop but it hits the net to bring up break point. Serena with a confident forehand cross court winner for the break. Serena with four games in a row now and she leads 4-2.
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 3-2 Sevastova (* denotes server)
Bit of pressure on the Serena serve but she comes out in flying colours with a gorgeous backhand winner past Sevastova who looked to move in at the net. Hold at 30 and it is on serve in the first set
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 2-2 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
Break point for Serena at 30-40. Crowd roaring in approval and anticipation as break point comes up for Serena with a Sevastova forehand error. But it is squandered with Serena slamming her backhand into the net. Backhand slices being employed by Sevastova to keep the ball low and taking away the advantage from Serena. Something Vinci had used so effectively in her win over Serena two years back. Serena, however, not going away and brings up another break point by moving forward and forcing the Latvian into finding a passing shot which doesn't come. Saved! Nice serve down the centre and Serena can't get it back. Another break point chance for Serena following a confident forehand passing shot. BREAK! Sevastova goes for a backhand drop shot but gets the contact all wrong. 2-2 in the first set
US Open 2018 Live: Serena* 1-2 Sevastova (* denotes server)
Serena gets on board with a hold at 30. Not still firing on all cylinders with errors coming in. But far more positive and convincing with the serve this time. 2-1 to Sevastova in the first set
US Open 2018 Live: Serena 0-2 *Sevastova (* denotes server)
HOLD! Sevastova with a comfortbale hold of serve. Drops one point and closes out the game with a backhand passing shot with Serena at the net. Not a convincing approach shot and Sevastova duly dispatches it