Serena Williams beats Anastasija Sevastova to reach final

Serena William

Williams walked off Arthur Ashe Stadium court with a wave and twirl to await the victor of the other semi-final between Japan's Naomi Osaka and American Madison Keys, who lost last year's final to Sloane Stephens.

Keys won all 10 of her service games, saving the only two break points she faced.

Kei Nishikori stayed the course to beat Marin Cilic over five sets on Wednesday and make the semi-finals of the US Open for the second time.

Williams was out of the game for over a year after announcing her pregnancy in April 2017 and then giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.

She now awaits the victor of Madison Keys and Naomi Osaka.

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Prior to this meeting, though, it is the first semi-final, between Serena Williams and Anastasia Sevastova, starting at midnight.

The 29-year-old is in his third semi-final at the US Open and sixth at the majors. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her after the match of acting.

Meanwhile, two-time US Open champion Djokovic will be playing in his 11th consecutive semi-final in NY, just two months after defying the odds to lift a 13th major at Wimbledon. And, when Sevastova dropped her serve at the start of the second set, she knew she was looking across the net at the best player in the world, whom the tournament recognised with a No17 seeding for the fortnight.

The Latvian's own serve was landing legally at a respectable 60% coming into the semi-final, but it dipped here and her reliance on placement over speed was exposed when Williams broke back in the fourth game, and again for 4-2.

Keys has made it this far in a major for the fourth time in her career.

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Federer broke first on the way to a 5-3 lead in the set, but Millman won the last four games, breaking Federer twice. Things grew tougher in the second as a sluggish Djokovic laboured before again clinching the set with a break.

She pushed some balls a few feet past the baseline, often failing to make Osaka do anything special to win a point and finishing with 31 unforced errors. "I used to play here when I was a little kid, so these courts aren't new to me", Osaka said.

"I hate matches like this", Tsurenko said. "I still haven't totally processed this match".

Nishikori next faces Novak Djokovic, while Osaka will play Madison Keys from the US. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to play on this court.

There were other issues for him, too, including in the third set when, ahead by a break, he was called by the chair umpire for allowing the 25-second serve clock, making its Grand Slam debut at this tournament, to run out on back-to-back points.

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