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.”