There is nothing fishy about Serena Williams' U.S. Open semifinal appearance. She is the three-time defending champion and has won four straight gland slams. But her Japanese delicacy of choice?
"She likes a spicy salmon with lots of cucumber," Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto says. "And crab meat too."
Morimoto is a fixture at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as he provides sushi for ACES at the U.S. Open.
He has signature Morimoto restaurant locations around the world, and sports stars gravitate toward him.
"Andy Murray loves a spicy tuna roll," Morimoto, 60, says. "Kei Nishikori, he likes normal food, not just sushi. He likes a rice bowl and miso soup. We do special orders for him."
Nishikori is the No. 4 player in the world, although that may drop after the U.S. Open. The Japanese 25-year-old was bounced in the first round by Frenchman Benoit Paire. Before the tournament, Morimoto said he was pulling for the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, but that ship has long sailed now.
Outside of tennis, Morimoto encounters baseball players and golfers. Among the names Morimoto serves include Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui and Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda currently pitches in Japan for Morimoto's hometown team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
One unique athlete experience Morimoto had was with Jim Thome. In June 2014, Thome hit his 400th home run as a member of the Phillies.
"He came after the game," Morimoto says. "It was 10:30 or 11 [p.m.]. Then we celebrated.
"In Manhattan, you have a lot of choice for sushi, but not in Philly, so all the players came to Morimoto."
Athletes are not always the best customers. Morimoto laughs that he can serve them any food, but not any liquid.
"Only one thing, they don't drink alcohol," he says. "They keep it healthy."
As for fans, Morimoto is happy to make any sushi or sashimi variation. He just will not take it to a parking lot. When asked what he would tailgate raw fish for a sporting event, Morimoto shakes his head.
"Sushi, you can't grill," he says. "But I've been to a Philadelphia Eagles tailgate. I made burgers and yakitori and steak."
Morimoto still has one more weekend to share his sushi with the tennis world. The U.S. Open men's and women's semifinals are scheduled for Friday with the women's final Saturday and the men's final Sunday.
No matter who wins, Morimoto will serve some ACES.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.