Serena Williams v Naomi Osaka: US Open women's final

Sherman Parsons
September 8, 2018

Serena Williams swept past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0 on Thursday and into the final of the U.S. Open to sit one win away from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title to continue her remarkable return to the top levels of the game after she nearly died while having a baby previous year. I mean, hopefully I won't play like that again.

Osaka, meanwhile, will do everything she can to bring the match-up to the conclusion of her youthful dream. After losing the match, Pliskova pretended to offer her hand up for Mrozinska to shake but whipped it away and began hammering at the towered chair with her racquet. That's how long it took her to drop the opening two games.

After a par-70 effort in Friday's second round of the PGA BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia, Woods returned the favor to Williams, who would match Australia's Margaret Court as the all-time leader in Grand Slam singles crowns with a victory Saturday.

After winning her first Masters title at Indian Wells earlier this year, she made what she described as "the worst acceptance speech of all time" - nervously saying her "thank yous" before awkwardly lifting the trophy and posing for photographs.

In August, when she felt like she was losing the drive to play tennis, she hired four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs as her new coach.

Meanwhile, a win for Osaka would be historic, as she is both the youngest woman to reach a U.S. Open final since 2009 and the first Japanese woman to reach the final of any Grand Slam. "She's passionate and unrelenting and the most inspiring person I know".

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She said she estimates she's playing at 50 or 60 percent of her full physical potential and will face a good litmus test Saturday against Osaka, who dispatched Keys 6-2, 6-4.

Fifteen months younger than her sister Venus, Serena did what big sis failed to do in the 1997 tournament and topped World No. 1 Martina Hingis.

Six-time victor Williams is looking to match the record 24 Grand Slam titles won by Australian Margaret Court.

Osaka also has a strong attachment to Japanese culture, describing her visits to the country as like a "super-awesome extended vacation that I don't want to leave", according to media reports. To celebrate the tennis star's return to the US Open final, a year after giving birth to daughter, Olympia, Serena's husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has shared a heartwarming video that's left many moved.

As for the black tutu look: Williams wore it when she defeated Magda Linette a little while ago. It took her just 23 minutes to win the first five games of the second set. Osaka is a future Grand Slam champion.

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