Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

History at stake as Osaka meets 'idol' Serena in US Open final

History at stake as Osaka meets 'idol' Serena in US Open final

Williams advanced with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Anastasija Sevastova and is aiming to win her 24th major in her 31st Grand Slam final appearance. Osaka found herself serving for the set and she closed it out in 37 minutes.

Stream every match at the US Open live on the FOX+ app and catch up on highlights of any action you've missed.

Osaka, who is considered hafu or half Japanese, was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father.

Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old who is the first Japanese woman to play in a major final in the Open Era, is seeking her first Slam title in a match against her childhood idol.

Like Williams, Osaka has a tennis-playing sister, Mari. "Cosmopolitan, appealing personality, cool mixed-race look, interesting background, charming on camera".

"I've been working hard on my volleys", Williams said of her aggressive game plan. The Florida-based athlete moved with her parents to NY at the age of 3.

Osaka could be that athlete but tennis has been fooled before.

Osaka, 20, the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final, said she had admired Williams since she was a child. "She never gives up", writes Alexis on Instagram.

Tennis has produced a procession of young talented players from Eastern Europe who have racked up piles of titles but off court have been unable to move the needle. After being vaulted into stardom by winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March, Osaka went from being one of the WTA's next big things to having truly arrived.

Hello and welcome to Flushing Meadows for the US Open women's final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.

The former world No 1 described her return to the final in NY as "incredible" and victory will also see her surpass Chris Evert's six titles at Flushing Meadows.

The US Open 2018, Serena Williams vs Naomi Osaka Final match will be played at the Arthur Ashe stadium. Her 12 month hard court data isn't elite level either, but these last two weeks in NY have demonstrated that she's somewhere towards her best, and in the last three months on hard court (including her disaster display against Jo Konta) she's held 80.7% and broken 44.2% (combined 124.9%). "I had one more to go still", she said. Not ideal! That's not going to cut it against Serena, especially if her serve is firing. "There are no fake emotions".

She seems younger than her age, carrying a youthful innocence.

"You're in that match and you think, 'Okay, she's going to let up eventually.' She didn't, so all credit to her..."

"There is still a lot more I plan on doing".

Williams put her current level at only 50 or 60 per cent, and said: "I definitely don't feel myself yet".

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