Osaka faces 'surreal' U.S. Open final against idol Serena


She will play 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese woman to make a Grand Slam singles final, and a player a who idolises the American.

Playing under the closed roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium as rain fell for the first time during this year's US Open, Williams was rarely troubled as she marched into the final at Flushing Meadows for the ninth time in her storied career.

"This is going to sound really bad, but I was just thinking I really want to play Serena", Osaka said in an on-court interview.

Ashleigh Barty and her doubles partner, Coco Vandeweghe, have progressed to the final of the US Open women's doubles competition with a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Czech number one seed pairing Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. Here's all you need to know about her, including her impressive run so far at the 2018 US Open. She did not yet know the identity of her quarterfinal opponent: Serena, who had won the first set with a bagel, or the 44th-ranked Kaia Kanepi, who had pushed Serena to a third. I'd suggest that this final is symptomatic of a current group of players with no outstanding candidate and are largely capable of beating each other.

But what impressed in this match was not so much Osaka's big hitting but the rest of her game and her remarkable poise under pressure.

Sevastova was no match for Williams.

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Serena Williams hits a return to Anastasija Sevastova in the U.S. Open semifinals on September 6.

She has won six of her 23 major titles in NY, and with a victory would equal Margaret Court's record. Then she started feeling better.

Known for her candid remarks to the media, she said in 2016 her ambitions were, "to be the very best, like no one ever was". "Even when I was a little kid, I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam".

"I believe that Naomi is one of those individuals who really craves the big stage", said her coach Sascha Bajin, who used to work with Williams.

Naomi Osaka rose to global prominence past year after defeating U.S. Open defending champion Angelique Kerber in the very first round through a stellar upset.

"Every day I step out on this court I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport".

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Sevastova changes speeds and angles a lot, which helped her eliminate defending champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals.

"It was hard. You think she's going to let up but she didn't".

A win Saturday would be Williams' first Grand Slam title as a mother.

Keys had her chances but was unable to take any of four break points for a 3-1 lead in the first set.

But after Williams stormed back to even things at 2-2, 40-40, Sevastova deployed her favourite tool, her drop shot, and it failed her, skidding down the side of the net and landing on her side of the court.

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