Brady wins second set, 6-3!
Second set: Brady 6-7, 6-3 Osaka
And Brady wastes no time closing out the set, racing to an easy hold. We’re headed to a decider in Flushing Meadows!
Brady breaks in eighth game of second set!
Second set: *Brady 6-7, 5-3 Osaka
A moment of pressure of Osaka on her serve as Brady, who’s swinging with great confidence, pushes it to 30-all. She wins the next point to earn her first break-point chance of the night … and she converts it after getting the best of an 18-shot rally, the longest of the match. Suddenly, Brady will serve for the set and to force a decider.
Second set: Brady 6-7, 4-3 Osaka*
… and Brady breezes through another business-like hold of her own. Still on serve in the second.
Second set: *Brady 6-7, 3-3 Osaka
Osaka holds at love, cracking her seventh and eighth aces of the night along the way …
Second set: Brady 6-7, 3-2 Osaka*
Brady races out to 40-love with her 18th, 19th and 20th winners of the night, then holds with a deft volley at the net. She’s hit 22 winners against 16 unforced errors, compared to 16 and seven for Osaka, respectively.
Second set: *Brady 6-7, 2-2 Osaka
Osaka is forced to deuce in a service game for only the second time all night, but holds comfortably from there.
Second set: Brady 6-7, 2-1 Osaka*
Brady holds at love to keep step with Osaka. Both have been practically impeccable on their serve all night with only one break point faced between them.
Second set: *Brady 6-7, 1-1 Osaka
More commanding service from Osaka, who closes out another easy hold with a 118mph ace down the pipe. She’s won 24 of 26 first-serve points (92%) tonight.
Second set: Brady 6-7, 1-0 Osaka*
Brady needed a positive service game after balking on her serve a bit in that first-set breaker and that’s was she produced, cruising to a stress-free hold to open the second. Very high quality on both ends.
Osaka wins first set, 7-6 (1)!
First-set tiebreaker: Brady 1-7 Osaka
Osaka wins the first point on her serve, then goes up a minibreak after Brady misfires in the heat of a 16-shot exchange on the next point. Brady follows with a 111mph service winner for 1-2, but finds herself at an early disadvantage. Osaka takes care of next two points on her racket. Then Brady, serving at 1-4, makes another costly unforced error off the forehand to go down a second minibreak as the players change ends. Osaka hits a forehand winner on the next point and she will have five set points, the first two on her racket. But the 2018 US Open champion only needs one of them, crushing a 120mph thunderbolt down the middle that Brady can’t return into the court. What a set and what a tiebreaker for Osaka, who is one set from the final.
First set: Brady 6-6 Osaka
Brady opens with her fifth ace, but a pair of Osaka winners push it to 30-all and suddenly Osaka is two points from the set. But Brady holds her nerve and wins the next two points to force the breaker.
First set: *Brady 5-6 Osaka
Osaka holds from love-15 down, cracking her four ace of the night along the way. Brady will serve to force a first-set tiebreaker after the change of ends.
First set: *Brady 4-5 Osaka
Osaka holds at love, cracking a 116mph ace to the body to close it out. She’s was 16 of 17 first-serve points so far, a formidable 94% clip. Brady will serve to stay in the first set after the changeover.
First set: Brady 4-4 Osaka*
Osaka wins the first point on Brady’s serve, getting the best of a 12-shot baseline rally, the longest of the match so far. Brady wins three quick points, but Osaka pushes it to deuce. From there Brady slots in two unreturnable serves. On we go, on serve in the first. And, yes, Cordae is in the building.
First set: *Brady 3-4 Osaka
Osaka goes ace, forehand winner, ace on the first three points and appears bound for another easy hold. But Brady pushes it back to deuce and earns her first break chance of the night with a backhand return winner. Osaka saves it with a second-serve service winner, then rattles off two quick points to escape with the hold.
First set: Brady 3-3 Osaka*
Brady cruises to another business-like hold, capping it with a 112mph ace down the middle.
First set: *Brady 2-3 Osaka
Brady puts a bit of pressure on Osaka’s serve after pounding a forehand winner for 15-30. But Osaka holds comfortably from there. Still on serve in the opening set.
First set: Brady 2-2 Osaka*
An early chance for Osaka on Brady’s serve as the American makes an unforced forehand error followed by her first double fault of the night. But Brady wins four quick points from there, closing out the hold with a forehand winner and a 113mph ace out wide.
First set: *Brady 0-1 Osaka (*denotes next server)
Osaka, who’s served so well in her five wins so far, cruises through her opening service game, closing out a love hold with a crisp forehand winner from the baseline.
The players have taken the court for their warm-ups. Osaka is wearing a facemask with the name of Philando Castile, the 32-year-old black motorist who was shot to death by a Minnesota police officer in 2016.
Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for tonight’s US Open women’s semi-final twinbill. Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady are set to meet in tonight’s first match, followed by a throwback special between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the nightcap.
Osaka and Brady should be on court just after the top the hour for their warm-ups. In the meantime, here’s a glance at all four of tonight’s semi-finalists by the numbers:
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how Naomi Osaka fared in her last match:
Naomi Osaka continued to underscore her status as the favourite to win the US Open title as she won her ninth consecutive match since the tour restart, moving into the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Shelby Rogers.
“I feel pretty good,” Osaka said afterwards. “I think all of the matches were really tough. The scoreline might not suggest it but I’ve had a couple of really hard matches. I think that made me really glad to be in this position right now.”
Osaka entered the court wearing a mask bearing the name of George Floyd, whose killing at the hands of police was the catalyst for her activism. She had previously amplified the names of Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor, all high-profile cases of Black people unjustly killed at the hands of police or civilians. After the match, ESPN broadcasted messages from Arbery’s father and Martin’s mother for Osaka.
“I was just trying really hard not to cry,” said Osaka. “For me it’s a bit surreal. It’s extremely touching that they would feel touched by what I’m doing. For me, I feel like what I’ve doing is nothing. It’s a speck of what I could be doing. It was really emotional. I feel like, I don’t know, after I saw it, at first I was a bit in shock. Now that I’m here and I took the time, I don’t know, I’m really grateful and I’m really humbled.”