Two-time major winner Naomi Osaka is through to the semi-finals of the US Open after scoring her first win in four matches against American Shelby Rogers, ranked No. 93 in the world, on Tuesday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Rogers had beaten Osaka in straight sets in their three previous matches and was playing in only the second Grand Slam quarter-final of her career. But the Japanese No. 4 seed proved to be too strong on the day, winning 6-3, 6-4 to move into the semi-finals where she will face another American - the 25 year old Jennifer Brady.
Osaka was pleased with her performance on Tuesday and credited the game plan she had worked on with her coach, Wim Fissette. "I think I had a very solid game plan with Wim. We sat down. He has these little PowerPoint presentations.
That really helps me out a lot. I think the big thing for me was to be the aggressor and to be okay with making unforced errors. Apparently I didn't make that many. But, yeah, just to accept the unforced errors because I know that I'm going for shots."
Naomi Osaka really happy to be in the semi-finals of the US Open
Speaking to the media in New York, Osaka said she has been working hard over the past few months of the tennis shutdown and knows she will have to continue working harder as the tournament comes down to the business end.
"I mean, in my mind I'm a pretty hard worker. I thought the practices and the fitness was really tough. I can only grade it for myself. But in my mind I thought it was pretty tough. I think that the results are showing. 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.' Her next opponent Jennifer Brady has been playing some of the best tennis of her life in recent weeks - she won her first WTA title last month and has not dropped a set in five matches at this tournament.
Osaka is not taking her opponent lightly. "I don't feel like the favorite 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 Putintseva earlier today. I know she's a big threat." Naomi Osaka has been a former US Open champion - she won the title in 2018 over Serena Williams, who is also through to the quarter-finals and remains in the other section of the draw.