Tennis

American Jennifer Brady to meet Naomi Osaka in 1st major semifinal at U.S. Open

American Jennifer Brady said she was nervous at the start of her first career Grand Slam quarter-final, but it didn't show.

Denis Shapovalov plays men's quarter-final tonight; winner to face Zverev in semis

Jennifer Brady, right, taps rackets with Yulia Putintseva after winning their quarter-final on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Chris Evert says the subdued atmosphere at the U.S. Open has helped American Jennifer Brady make a lot of noise.

Brady notched the biggest victory yet in her breakout run at the Open, beating Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday.

Seeded 28th, Brady said she was nervous at the start of her first career Grand Slam quarter-final. But with fans in the stands, Evert believes, Brady's jitters could have been worse.

"If you had 22,000 screaming fans, that might be a little bit of a disruption and a distraction for her," said Evert, a six-time U.S. Open champion and ESPN commentator. "Right now she's playing in her little bubble, she's only in her head, and that's producing her best tennis."

The 25-year-old Brady trained as a youngster at the Evert Tennis Academy in Florida. She's playing in her 13th Grand Slam event and is seeded in a major tournament for the first time.

Brady agreed it was easier to overcome her butterflies in the quarterfinal because there were no fans. She said she has struggled with doubt in her career while climbing slowly through the ranks.

"I'm pretty lucky to have just stuck to it, and just really continue to just play and practice and compete and get better," she said. "Here I am today."

"She has matured," Evert said. "We had her at our academy when she was 10. She played like a guy, and I mean that in a good way. She had a lot of topspin; she moved so well; she had a lot of power; she had a kick serve when she was 12. ... She has come into her own right now."

With a win Thursday, Brady would become the first former collegiate player to reach the women's final at the Open since Billie Jean King made it for the last time in 1974. Brady played for 2014 NCAA champion UCLA, coached by Pete Sampras' sister, Stella Sampras Webster.

Brady will have a tall task on her hands next: two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

Osaka, the former No. 1-ranked player who won the U.S. Open two years ago, played far cleaner tennis than her opponent in a 6-3, 6-4 win over 93rd-ranked Shelby Rogers at night.

Rogers finished with 27 unforced errors, Osaka with eight.

WATCH | Osaka cruises into semifinals:

Naomi Osaka cruises past Shelby Rogers to secure spot in U.S. Open semifinals

Sports

11 months ago
1:28
Naomi Osaka needed just two sets to breeze past Shelby Rogers at the U.S. Open, 6-3, 6-4. 1:28

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