US Open Glance: Williams vs. Azarenka, Osaka vs. Brady

NEW YORK (AP) — A quick look at the U.S. Open:

LOOKAHEAD TO THURSDAY

Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka in one women’s semifinal — a rematch of the 2012 and 2013 U.S Open finals won by Williams — and Naomi Osaka will face Jennifer Brady in the other. Williams is closing in on what would be her seventh U.S. Open championship and record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title overall. She has made it to the semifinals in each of her past 11 appearances in New York. Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champion on a 10-match winning streak and back in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in seven years. Williams leads Azarenka 18-4 head-to-head. Williams, who turns 39 later this month, is coming off two three-set comeback victories in a row and hit 20 aces in her win against Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals. Williams was the runner-up at Flushing Meadows each of the past two years; she lost to Osaka in the 2018 final. That was one of Osaka’s two Grand Slam titles. Brady, meanwhile, had never been past the fourth at any major tournament until this week. But she is playing as well as anyone since tennis resumed last month from its hiatus because of the coronavirus, winning the first WTA title of her career at Lexington, Kentucky. Brady is a 25-year-old from Pennsylvania who helped UCLA win a college championship. She and Osaka have played twice, each winning once by a 6-4, 6-4 score, although Brady’s victory came six years ago. Also on the schedule Thursday is the men’s doubles final, with Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic playing Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares.

THURSDAY’S FORECAST

Rain. High of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

WEDNESDAY’s WEATHER

Cloudy. High of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

WEDNESDAY’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS

Women: No. 3 Serena Williams beat Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Victoria Azarenka beat No. 16 Elise Mertens 6-1, 6-0.

Men: No. 3 Daniil Medvedev beat No. 10 Andrey Rublev 7-6 (6), 6-3, 7-6 (5); No. 2 Dominic Theim beat No. 21 Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

STAT OF THE DAY

20 — Aces by Williams in her comeback victory, her most in a match since she hit 24 at Wimbledon eight years ago.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Sometimes when I’m serving, I just tell myself: ‘I don’t care if my arm falls off, I’m going to keep serving.’” — Williams.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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