Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady will meet for a spot in the U.S. Open finals on Thursday after both players won their respective quarterfinal matches on Tuesday.
Brady was the first through as she continued her torrid fortnight in New York City by defeating 23rd seed Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2.
“I was just trying to focus within myself and not really look ahead or, you know, think about what position I was in really; playing for the semifinals at a Grand Slam,” said Brady. “I was really just trying to take one point at a time and really just control my emotions and not get too high or too low.”
As she has throughout the tournament, Brady came out firing early, using that blistering forehand to break Putintseva early and take control of the match. She converted on five of seven break point chances and blasted 22 winners to secure her spot in the final four in just one hour and nine minutes.
“There were a lot of doubts, a lot of questions. Definitely not positive thoughts, you know, during those times,” Brady said of her first few years as a professional. “But I think I’m pretty lucky to have just stuck to it and just really continue to just play and practice and compete and get better. And here I am today.”
Brady will now play former champion Naomi Osaka for a spot in the championship. Osaka ousted Brady’s compatriot Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 in the opening match of Tuesday’s Night Session in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Osaka committed just eight unforced errors and ripped 24 winners as she played what might have been her cleanest match of the tournament thus far.
“She played pretty flawless,” Rogers said of Osaka. “She didn’t make many unforced errors. Of course, I can always do things better, force them to make errors, things like that. Overall she’s playing very well. I think she can go a couple more if she wants.”
Brady and Osaka have met twice before and split those two matches, with Osaka winning the more recent showdown, a straight set win on the clay of Charleston in 2018.
“She’s a really amazing player,” Osaka said of Brady. “She has the variety that I wish I had, so I’m a bit jealous. I think it’s going to be a really tough match.”