The last time Serena Williams went toe-to-toe with Naomi Osaka it was not a happy ending for the Queen of the fashion court. The 20-year-old Japanese star thrashed her in straight sets in the first round of the Miami Open in March but one could argue that Williams was still dealing with post-partum emotions.

The Queen was so angry that after the match she walked off the court, skipped the press conference, and drove home.

Williams will once again meet rising star Osaka, this time in the US Open final tomorrow night at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

This is another opportunity for Williams to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles and at the same time get revenge.

The American made light work of Anastasija Sevastova in the semi-finals winning 6-3 6-0 while Osaka of Japan made her first career grand slam final when she beat Madison Keys 6-2 6-4 in her semi-final clash.

Message to Williams From Naomi Osaka

When asked if she had a message for Williams after her semi-final match, Osaka said: “I love you.” Williams is Osaka’s favourite player and according to Joyce Eng, senior editor at Gold Derby, the Japanese star started playing tennis because her dad saw Serena and Venus play at the 1999 French Open.

The 20-year-old became the first Japanese woman to reach a grand slam singles final in the open era, and also the youngest US Open women’s finalist since 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki won in 2009.

She is having a good 2018 so far as she won Indian Wells in March and now she is into a grand slam final with her idol.

Serena Williams & Naomi Osaka

When the 23-time grand slam champion took part in her first grand slam tournament, Osaka was just a three-month-old baby girl. For Osaka playing Williams in the final is a dream come true.

Osaka said: “This is going to sound really bad but I was thinking, ‘I really want to play Serena’,” she said. When asked why, she said: “Because she’s Serena! What do you mean?”

Williams, who lost to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final in July, said a year ago she was literally fighting for her life in hospital after she had her baby.

Every day I step on this court I’m so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport. No matter what happens in any match, semis, finals, I just feel like I’ve already won.

The 36-year-old has won the US open six times but has lost in the semi-finals in her last two appearances. And she will be playing against the young and quick Osaka who is eager and looking forward to the final tomorrow night.

 

 

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