Naomi Osaka said she is trying to be in the moment as the former world number one chases a third grand slam title at the US Open.

Osaka reached the US Open semi-finals on Tuesday thanks to a 6-3 6-4 win over Shelby Rogers at Flushing Meadows in New York.

The Japanese star is back in the US Open semis for the first time since capturing her maiden major on Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2018.

It triggered a whirlwind period of success for Osaka, who went on to win the 2019 Australian Open only a couple of months later in Melbourne.

Osaka, however, had not progressed beyond the fourth round of a slam since reigning supreme at Melbourne Park last year, so the fourth seed is making the most of her run in the United States.

"I don't think a person can ever be truly comfortable," Osaka said during her news conference when asked if she is feeling as comfortable as ever at the US Open. "But for me, I'm aware that I worked very hard to be in this position. I'm aware that the opponents that I play from now on are going to be very tough.

"For me, I think the last two grand slams, everything happened so fast, I wasn't really in the moment. I'm just really happy to be in the semis, and hopefully I can keep going."

Osaka, who will meet Jennifer Brady for a spot in the women's final after hitting 24 winners and just eight unforced errors against Rogers, said: "I feel like if I'm positive, no matter how much time it will take, I'll eventually get to where I want to be.

"For me, I felt like I did well at the end of the year, I won Tokyo and Beijing. I don't know.

"I feel like there's a certain mindset that I have to get to in order to get to the goals that I want to. But it does feel like a long time since I've been to this part of a major.

"At the same time all the work that I put in makes it seem like... I don't know. It's just a journey, I would say."

Osaka is the favourite to beat 28th seed Brady behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic but she added: "I don't feel like the favourite weirdly enough. Because there's no fans, I don't feel anything. I just feel like I'm going into a match with a really talented player, which is all of my previous matches anyway.

"For me, I remember watching her. I watched her match against [Yulia] Putintseva earlier today. I know she's a big threat."

Naomi Osaka moved a step closer to a second US Open title after advancing to the semi-finals at the expense of Shelby Rogers.

Osaka – the 2018 champion and former world number one – was too good for Rogers 6-3 6-4 at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

A two-time grand slam champion, Osaka was 0-3 against Rogers heading into the quarter-final but the fourth seed finally ended her drought thanks to 24 winners and just eight unforced errors.

Osaka – who has claimed the US Open and Australian Open on the two occasions she has progressed beyond the fourth round of a slam – will face Jennifer Brady in the semi-finals.

It was an evening opening on Arthur Ashe Stadium behind closed doors, a showdown from the baseline under lights.

Osaka earned the first break-point chance in the sixth game, but Rogers caught the line with an aggressive cross-court winner to fend it off.

However, Osaka had a second chance to claim the break after Rogers sent a forehand long and another wayward shot gifted the Japanese star a 4-2 lead following a tense game.

Rogers, though, hit back immediately, smashing a ferocious winner on a second serve to reclaim the break, only for Osaka to break to love to restore her cushion with some powerful baseline hitting as she served out the set.

World number 93 Rogers – who was sidelined for 13 months in 2018 and 2019 due to a knee injury and was unranked as recently as last April – continued to play with aggression but she came unstuck in the third game, another stray forehand seeing Osaka move 2-1 ahead with the break.

Rogers tried to stay in the contest, but Osaka never looked back en route to the final four of a slam for the first time since winning the 2019 Australian Open.



Osaka [4] bt Rogers 6-3 6-4


Osaka – 24/8
Rogers – 23/27


Osaka – 7/1
Rogers –  3/2


Osaka – 3/5
Rogers – 1/1


Osaka – 48
Rogers – 61


Osaka – 83/69
Rogers – 66/33


Osaka – 67
Rogers – 45

Aliaksandra Sasnovich set aside her US Open exit to make a winning start at the Istanbul Cup on Tuesday.

Sasnovich reached round three at Flushing Meadows in New York, thrashing 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova in her second match before bowing out to Yulia Putintseva.

Back to regular WTA Tour action, swapping US hardcourts for clay in Turkey, 106th-ranked Belarusian Sasnovich began slowly in her clash with Zarina Diyas before improving to beat the Kazakh seventh seed 3-6 7-5 6-1 on Tuesday.

Polona Hercog, the Slovenian third seed, saw off Turkish hope Berfu Cengiz 6-2 6-3, with wins also for Spain's Paula Badosa and Sara Sorribes Tormo, the latter going through after British fifth seed Heather Watson retired when trailing 3-2 in the opening set.

Italy's Jasmine Paolini and Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova came through tight three-set contests, with Canada's former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard among the players to battle through qualifying early in the day to reach the main draw.

Victoria Azarenka joined Serena Williams in the US Open quarter-finals as Sofia Kenin crashed out on Monday.

Azarenka was pushed before the two-time Australian Open winner booked her spot in the last eight at Flushing Meadows.

Williams was also challenged before reaching the quarter-finals and her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title remains on track.

But there was no such luck for this year's Australian Open champion as Kenin bowed out.



Azarenka reached the US Open quarter-finals for the first time since 2015 after overcoming Czech 20th seed Karolina Muchova 5-7 6-1 6-4.

Muchova was on top early before Azarenka steadied to advance in two and a half hours.

The Belarusian, twice a US Open runner-up, was eventually too good for Muchova, who battled a leg injury late in the last-16 clash.

Azarenka won the Western & Southern Open ahead of the US Open, showing some good form since the WTA Tour season restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She will next face Elise Mertens after the Belgian 16th seed proved far too good for Kenin – the second seed – 6-3 6-3 in just 75 minutes.

Mertens hit 19 winners and just seven unforced errors against Kenin, whose best run at her home slam came to an end.

The win saw Mertens reach the quarters for the second straight year.



Williams came through a tough battle with Maria Sakkari, winning 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 after two hours, 28 minutes.

The American star looked set to endure more frustration in her quest to level Margaret Court's record when she trailed Sakkari by a break in the third set.

Sakkari came from a set down to defeat Williams at the Western & Southern Open.

However, she could not hold on to her advantage in the decisive set as Williams produced a response befitting her status as a 23-time major champion.

"Just felt like I was able to compete longer. I was a little fatigued last time and had some cramps, but I felt like Maria played a completely, I felt like she almost played better today. She's such a good competitor," Williams said.

"It was a really intense match."



Awaiting Williams in the quarter-finals is Tsvetana Pironkova, whose run continued with a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 victory over Alize Cornet.

A former Wimbledon semi-finalist, Pironkova is back playing for the first time since 2017.

The Bulgarian has put together an impressive run in New York, where she had only reached the fourth round once previously – in 2012.

World number one Ashleigh Barty will not defend her French Open title.

Barty, 24, was last in action in February, having opted to skip the US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian has decided against defending her crown in Paris due to COVID-19 and concerns over her preparation.

"It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year," Barty wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

"Last year's French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly.

"There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with COVID. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia.

"I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.

"I now look forward to a long pre-season and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and wellbeing of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can't wait to play for you again."

Roland Garros is due to begin on September 27 with fans in attendance.

Serena Williams is hopeful there will be no problems with allowing fans at the French Open but conceded she has questions for organisers about their plans.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced on Monday that 11,500 fans would be allowed into Roland Garros for the rescheduled clay-court grand slam, though the grounds would split into three separate sites.

Pushed back from May 24 to September 27, players will be required to stay in one of the two designated hotels to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

Williams, speaking after beating Maria Sakkari to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, expressed some bemusement at the restrictions being placed on players amid fans being allowed into the facility.

"I was hoping to stay at my apartment in Paris, but, you know, I'm just taking it a day at a time," she told a media conference. 

"I feel the French, they are doing the best that they can. You know, it's hard. Every organisation, every country is trying to do the best that they can in this pandemic, so I can't point fingers and tell them what to do, because I'm not running the tournament.

"If there are fans, then we should be able to stay elsewhere. Yeah, that's interesting, because there is no private housing but there's fans.

"But I kind of knew that. It's just for me I'm super conservative because I do have some serious health issues, so I try to stay away from public places, because I have been in a really bad position in the hospital a few times.

"I don't want to end up in that position again, so I don't know. I'll just do my best to continue to keep – for me, I try to keep a 12-foot distance instead of six."

Asked if she is definitely planning to play in Paris, Williams replied: "I'm honestly taking it one day at a time. I'm going to have to make the best decision for my health.

"Obviously maybe it will be good for me to talk to the organisers just to see how that works with the crowd and how we will be protected.

"They have to make the best decision for them, and I have to do what's best for me. But I think it should be okay.

"I don't know what the number will be and how close they will be. I think there is a lot of factors that hopefully they are thinking about, and I'm sure that they are, as this is a global pandemic.

"I still have some questions, but I'm really kind of, ironically, focused on New York but it's kind of hard because these grand slams are so close to each other this year."

Former US Open champion Naomi Osaka returned to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, while Shelby Rogers prevailed in a thriller against Petra Kvitova.

Osaka reached the US Open quarters for the first time since winning the grand slam in 2018 after beating 14th seed Anett Kontaveit in straight sets on Sunday.

Rogers emerged from the brink of defeat to stun sixth seed and two-time major champion Kvitova in New York.

Jennifer Brady and Yulia Putintseva also progressed from the round of 16.



The Japanese star and former world number one was too good for Kontaveit 6-3 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Two-time slam champion Osaka – the fourth seed – did not face a break point as she advanced in 72 minutes.

"I thought it was pretty good," Osaka said. "If I'm reflecting on attitude, I'm pretty sure it was up there with my top matches of this short year."


Awaiting Osaka is Rogers, who saved four match points in a memorable 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6) triumph.

Rogers fended off three match points on her serve at 4-5 in the final set and then another on Kvitova's racquet at 6-5 in the tie-break.

The American and world number 93 is now through to the quarter-finals of her home slam for the first time, albeit behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Day 72 in the bubble," Rogers told reporters. "It's been a long time here in New York. I'm happy to be sticking around for some more."


American 28th seed Brady will contest her maiden grand slam quarter-finals after blitzing 2016 US Open champion and former number one Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-4.

Brady broke serve four times and hit 25 winners to upstage three-time major winner Kerber.

Having lost her first two fourth-round berths at majors – both in 2017 – Brady said: "I don't think I was really ready physically or mentally to make the fourth round of two slams in one year. Definitely came as a huge surprise to me. Honestly, I didn't really believe that I belonged at that level or that it was achievable for me.

"So to be honest, I wasn't ready mentally or physically before it. And, you know, this year, starting the beginning of the year, I felt like a different player. I'm not putting expectations on myself but also not surprised when I'm doing well at a tournament."

Next up is two-time French Open quarter-finalist Putintseva, who ousted eighth seed Petra Martic 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Serena Williams recovered from a poor start to defeat a game Sloane Stephens 2-6 6-2 6-2 and book her spot in the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday.

It took time for Williams to get going on Arthur Ashe Stadium as a mixture of poor timing, particularly on the backhand, and fantastic variety from Stephens saw the 2017 champion take a deserved lead.

But Williams, once again attempting to level Margaret Court's overall record of 24 grand slams, remained calm, upped the ante and, by the time she broke for a 4-2 lead in the second, Stephens never looked like recovering.

The third seed, a six-time champion in New York, won 10 of the final 12 games and can now look ahead to for a fourth-round tie with Maria Sakkari.

Early doors it appeared more likely Williams would be preparing her suitcase as the American great's timing on her groundstrokes was left wanting.

Stephens consistently stretched the play wide with Williams' movement nowhere near its peak and a couple of poor backhands set up a double-break 5-2 lead before the opening set was ruthlessly served out to love.

As has so often been the case, though, Williams shook it off and found another gear, triumphing in a 16-shot rally to break for 4-2 before the errors crept into Stephens' game, which had previously been so clean.

In no time the match was level at a set apiece as the momentum shifted wildly into Williams' favour and, although Stephens valiantly fought off three break points, she made the breakthrough when her opponent went long to open up a 3-1 lead in the decider.

From there it was little more than a training exercise for Williams, who wrapped proceedings up in one hour and 43 minutes when Stephens went long from the baseline.



Williams [3] bt Stephens [26] 2-6 6-2 6-2


Williams – 29/23
Stephens – 25/18


Williams – 12/3
Stephens – 0/1


Williams – 4/10
Stephens – 2/5


Williams – 60
Stephens – 79


Williams – 78/39
Stephens – 60/53


Williams – 81
Stephens – 72

Naomi Osaka survived a test to reach the US Open last 16, while Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova also won on Friday.

Osaka, the 2018 champion in New York, was pushed before getting past Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk.

The top half of the women's draw is packed with seeds as Kerber and Kvitova were among those advancing at Flushing Meadows.

Petra Martic, the eighth seed, also booked her spot in the fourth round.



Osaka, the fourth seed and two-time grand slam winner, battled past Kostyuk 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

The Japanese star had 30 winners and 38 unforced errors before advancing in two hours, 33 minutes.

Osaka's left leg was again heavily strapped, but the 22-year-old insisted she was feeling fine.

"I felt like I was moving well," she said. "It could be better, but I think for a three-set match, the amount of movement that I did, and the fact that I felt like I could have kept going if I really needed to is definitely a good sign."

Awaiting Osaka in the fourth round is Anett Kontaveit after the Estonian 14th seed powered past Magda Linette 6-3 6-2.



For the first time since winning the tournament in 2016, Kerber is into the fourth round.

The German 17th seed was too good for Ann Li 6-3 6-4 in just 76 minutes.

"I came here and I have no idea where I am, to be honest. Still, I mean, I had three good matches, also close matches. Every match was a little bit different," Kerber said.

"But now the second week and the fourth round, I mean, you know, I'm not thinking too much ahead. It's more like I have a day off tomorrow. Then I have the next match. This is more my focus.

"I'm really trying to staying here as well in the bubble, also mentally and getting ready for the next match."

Up next for Kerber is Jennifer Brady, the American 28th seed having recorded a 6-3 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia.

A two-time US Open quarter-finalist, Kvitova advanced after a 6-4 6-3 victory over Jessica Pegula on Arthur Ashe Stadium.


A quarter-finalist at the French Open last year, Martic matched a career best thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win over Varvara Gracheva.

The Croatian is into the fourth round in New York for just the second time, having also achieved the feat last year.

She will meet Yulia Putintseva, who overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Serena Williams is a self-described perfectionist and as the American superstar bids to win a record-equalling 24th grand slam, she is trying to silence her inner critic.

Williams advanced to the US Open third round on Thursday after the third seed defeated Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-4 behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Yet to win a grand slam since claiming the 2017 Australian Open, having lost four major finals following her last success at Melbourne Park, Williams produced an improved performance against Gasparyan but the former world number one was still not completely satisfied.

With such lofty expectations and pressure growing as she stands on the brink of tying Margaret Court's long-standing record, Williams – who had 16 unforced errors compared to 24 in the opening round – told reporters: "The only thing that gets me flustered is really me, like, because I always feel like I'm not winning every point.

"I have been going back and looking at me and that's not what I normally do. Usually I'm just calm. And I just think with the pressure and everything that I felt, I felt like I just needed to be perfect. I always feel like I'm not perfect unless I'm perfect. That's not a fun way to live your career and live your life.

"So it doesn't matter if I lose 20 points in a row now. I just feel like, it's okay, it's fine, I'm here, and I'm happy. I get to play tennis after all these years. So just looking at it this way – it's nothing really. It's really just me and my mental."

"I think in general I always feel joy when I win. But that's also unrealistic, because you can't win every single match every time, and that's kind of the pressure I put on myself," the 38-year-old continued. "It's just completely unrealistic.

"I had to take a step back and just really say, Okay, Serena, no matter who you are or what you are, no one has ever done that. I mean, I think [unbeaten boxing legend] Floyd Mayweather did, but dang.

"So I guess I could have. But, no, and then I just think how I'm so grateful to be out here and how much fun that I have had, and I just needed to get back into that. Once I realised that, it was a little bit better. It's been a little bit better."

The six-time US Open champion, who will next meet 2017 winner and countrywoman Sloane Stephens, added: "I'm a perfectionist. And I remember some of my earliest memories were going, practising, I must have been, like, two or three or four, maybe four, and I was going to school and doing the alphabet and it wasn't perfect. I just stayed up and kept erasing it until I got it perfect.

"Then I would cry and then I would erase it and redo it and redo it. I remember I woke up the next day and I didn't finish my homework because I kept erasing it. That's been really the story of my life.

"It's so, so crazy because my daughter does the exact same thing… it is just something that's innate, and I just always have done. It's, like, Okay, Serena, stop. Perfection is – only Jesus was perfect, so just stop."

Serena Williams showed signs of improvement en route to the US Open third round as Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin took down Leylah Fernandez.

Former world number one and third seed Williams prevailed in a tricky test against Margarita Gasparyan in straight sets in New York on Thursday.

Countrywoman and second seed Kenin contained Canadian teenager Fernandez behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.

It was not good news for 10th seed Muguruza, who was sent packing by unranked Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.



Williams continued her quest for a record-equalling 24th grand slam after defeating Russian Gasparyan 6-2 6-4 to set up a showdown with 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.

The 38-year-old Williams hit 27 winners and just 16 unforced errors, an improvement on her numbers in the opening round, under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Williams, who has not won a slam since the 2017 Australian Open, will next meet Stephens after the American 26th seed eased past Olga Govortsova 6-2 6-2.


Kenin advanced to the third round of her home slam for the fourth year in a row thanks to a 6-4 6-3 victory over Fernandez.

World number four Kenin did not face a break point in a contest lasting one hour, 21 minutes.

After firing 19 winners and three aces, Kenin will play Ons Jabeur – who took down Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (10-8) 6-0.


Muguruza's US Open campaign came to an end in the second round, sensationally upstaged 7-5 6-3 by Pironkova, who is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon in 2017.

Australian Open runner-up and two-time slam champion Muguruza was serving for the first set when the Spaniard started to unravel.

Pironkova, who gave birth to a son during her time away from the WTA Tour, took control at the end of a tight first set and never looked back.

"I'm not going to hide, I didn't expect my first tournament to be so good and to play so well. It's welcome! That's why I came back, for these matches and these stages," Pironkova said after winning 93 per cent of her first serves.



Former world number one and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka topped fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 6-3.

A US Open finalist in 2012 and 2013, Azarenka is in fine form after winning the Western & Southern Open last week.

And Azarenka is now just one victory away from her first second-week appearance at Flushing Meadows in five years.

Meanwhile, seventh seed Madison Keys also progressed to the third round.

Serena Williams produced an improved performance as the third seed moved into the third round of the US Open after defeating Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-4 in New York.

Williams – in pursuit of a record-equalling 24th grand slam title – was not at her free-flowing best against countrywoman Kristie Ahn on Tuesday, tallying 24 unforced errors at Flushing Meadows.

But the former world number one was closer to her best on Thursday, reducing that count to 16 unforced errors to go with 27 winners as she set up an all-American showdown with 2017 winner Sloane Stephens.

Yet to add to her slam honours since winning the 2017 Australian Open, having lost four major finals since that last success at Melbourne Park, Williams made a fast start under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

Williams raced out to a 3-0 lead against Russia's Gasparyan, who continued to fight as she earned a break point in the fifth game, though it was emphatically saved by the former.

American superstar Williams then broke again for a 5-1 lead, but Gasparyan stayed alive by breaking to love in the very next game, though it only delayed the inevitable as the six-time US Open champion closed out the set on her opponent's serve.

Gasparyan refused to go away, the world number 117 continuing to play her shots against Williams, who went up a break in the second set.

Williams performed when it mattered most in a tense, 10-minute sixth game as she converted a fifth break-point chance, but the 38-year-old dropped serve as Gasparyan eventually levelled at 4-4.

Willing herself on in the closing stages, Williams produced a gutsy hold in the ninth game before breaking to 15 to book her spot in the next round, while claiming a record-extending 103rd US Open match victory.



Williams [3] bt Gasparyan 6-2 6-4


Williams – 27/16
Gasparyan – 16/22


Williams – 7/5
Gasparyan – 1/2


Williams – 6/12
Gasparyan – 3/6


Williams – 58
Gasparyan – 55


Williams – 62/48
Gasparyan – 51/38


Williams – 72
Gasparyan – 58

Kristina Mladenovic hit out at her "atrocious" US Open conditions following an incredible second-round collapse, saying she felt like a prisoner or criminal after coming into contact with Benoit Paire.

Mladenovic had to enter what she described as "a bubble within the bubble" at Flushing Meadows after practicing and playing cards with compatriot men's star Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The 27-year-old looked to have adjusted well to the strange setting as she beat Hailey Baptiste in the first round and then led Varvara Gracheva 6-1 5-1 in the second.

But Mladenovic was remarkably beaten 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, losing her way completely in the decider after allowing Gracheva to recover in the second set.

The 2015 US Open quarter-finalist pulled no punches after the match as she said she lost "partly because of the conditions" and revealed her regret at entering the tournament due to the way she felt she had been treated due to her association with Paire.

"The third set, I can't describe how I feel. It's distress, really," Mladenovic said. "We should sit down and make a list of what we are going through.

"It's not even acceptable what they do. The third set is a total collapse. I'm going to stop there, I don't know what to tell you.

"How can I tell you [the details]? Even to take a step to the right, they have to ask permission. We have no freedom of movement, no identity. I have the impression that we are prisoners, criminals.

"For any movement, they have to ask if we have the right to do it, even though we are tested every day and have had 30 negative tests. It's abominable, the conditions are atrocious.

"If I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes, with a mask, with a player who tested positive and then finally negative, would have these consequences, I would never have played this tournament."

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