US Open: Revenge served hot for Naomi Osaka against Shelby Rogers

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka overcame unseeded Shelby Rogers in straight sets to reach the US Open semi-finals on Tuesday and declared it revenge for earlier defeats. The Japanese 2018 US Open champion brushed aside the American 6-3, 6-4, in 1hr 20min inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Osaka, 22, will play 28th-seeded American Jennifer Brady on Thursday for a place in the final.

Apprehensive Osaka

Despite going into the last-eight match as favourite, the World No. 9 Osaka said she was apprehensive about playing the 93rd-ranked Rogers, 27, because she had failed to beat her in three previous outings. "Honestly, I just felt like she had the upper hand because I’ve never beaten her," Osaka said. "And those memories are stuck in my head so I consider this a little bit of revenge," she added.

Osaka said a defeat to Rogers in 2017 on clay in Charleston had left "a really bad aftertaste in my mouth." "I’m really glad I was able to have a much better positive attitude today," she explained. Osaka, of Haitian and Japanese heritage, walked onto the court wearing a facemask emblazoned with the name of George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death in police custody in May sparked nationwide protests.

The 2019 Australian Open champion is wearing different masks honouring victims of racial injustice and police brutality throughout the tournament.

Brady battles into Last 4

Meanwhile, Brady battled some initial nerves to beat Kazakh Yulia Putintseva in straight sets and reach the semi-finals for the first time. Brady, seeded 28th, got the better of her 23rd seed opponent 6-3, 6-2, in one hour and nine minutes inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium. "Coming into the match today, honestly I was feeling like I was going to poop my pants. I was very nervous," said Brady.

"I just tried to really stay calm and keep it cool as a cucumber out there," she added.

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