And now Osaka, still just 22, is one win away from a third Grand Slam title.
Osaka moved through the final set with the only service break in the end that he would get Thursday night – and the only one he would need – to beat Brady 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3. , The final at Flushing Meadows two years after winning the return championship.
The match was played at the conclusion of Arthur Ash Stadium with a retractable cover, and rain shook the roof loudly. The production of both also made it conducive to an indoor environment for women to be beaten clean, with the racket slapping on the ball from thousands of empty blue seats in an empty tournament to shut down viewers due to the coronovirus epidemic.
“It means a lot to me. I consider New York my second home,” said Osaka, who was born in Japan and moved to the United States as a child. “I like the atmosphere, even though there is no one here. I feel like this court suits me well.”
It suits both players for most of the high-quality semi-finals.
Osaka served up to 120 mph; Brady reached 117 mph. And he played the ball once when he was in the game, especially from the forehand side.
Osaka said, “I felt like I’m getting it out. It felt like we’re doing business.” “I tried to adjust a bit on her serve in the third set so that might help.”
He added 70 winners – 35 appeals – to just 42 unforced errors, each as good as the other, and resorted to little luck to swing things after 1 hour, 45 minutes.
This is when, 2–1 in the third set, Osaka earned his first break point with a backhand, hitting a net tape and being over tricked. She was able to turn up the chance when she made a deep return to 110 mph serve and in response Brady’s backhand was called long – though a television replay showed that it had indeed caught a piece behind the baseline.
Brady did not challenge the ruling.
This year the line is one of only two courts at the US Open using judges; To reduce the number of people on the site, the tournament used electronic line-calling in other arenas.
In Saturday’s final, Osaka will face 23-time major champion Serena Williams or two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka.
Williams entered the semi-finals, which were scheduled for Thursday night, with an 18-4 head-to-head advantage over Azarenka, 10 in the Grand Slam tournament with wins in the 2012 and 2013 US Open title matches. Won 0. The only opponent Williams has played more often is his older sister Venus; They have met 31 times
The opening set of the first women’s semi-final came down to a tiebreaker and Osaka was better, perhaps due to the greater amount of her experience in such situations.
He didn’t make a single error – Brady’s lone point came through an ace – and calmed it down with a 120 mph aces.
The first set in a two-week tournament was set by Brady, but he did not face the caliber of Osaka, whose résumé also includes the 2019 Australian Open trophy and status as the first Asian tennis player. 1.
In the second set, however, it was Osaka, who blinked an eyelid and Brady collected his first break of the evening. She went 5–3 when Osaka missed a forehand in a 19-stroke exchange, then held it out.
Hedy Stuff for Brady, a 25-year-old from Pennsylvania who had never been to the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament before this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.