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Naomi Osaka pays tribute to 'idol' Serena as US Open showdown looms

08 September, 2018, 23:25 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova shake hands at the end of their semi-final

For all of six minutes. In fact, Serena has bagled her opponents thrice in NY this year.

Osaka, 20, is the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final, where she'll be taking on 23-time major victor Williams. Williams already owns the mark for the most in the half-century professional era; Court won some of hers against amateur competition.

Osaka, the U.S. Open's 20-seed, advanced to the U.S. Open finals on Thursday by beating Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4 and will face Serena Williams on Saturday. When Osaka won her semi-final against Madison Keys, she was asked if she had a message for Williams. "Like, what do you mean?"

I'll get this out here right now - I didn't anticipate Serena Williams versus Naomi Osaka to be the women's final.

This is but a distant memory to her latest achievements on the court.

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".

"The combination of her strength and childlike innocence is her charm", said the conservative-leaning Yomiuri, another major daily.

Potentially standing in the way of Barty's maiden grand slam title is fellow Queenslander and two-time women's grand slam doubles champion, Sam Stosur.

"It is really incredible". Every day I step on this court I'm so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport.




The Asahi newspaper described how Osaka's unpretentious, sometimes humorous responses in post-match interviews and news conferences have won over spectators and journalists alike.

And there were plenty of those. She had 31 winners.

"It feels a little bit surreal", she added to reporters. She shouldn't be afraid to get into longer rallies - that's where she can use her youth to her advantage - but she also shouldn't cower at the thought of making aggressive plays to end points quickly with her booming forehand.

The world number 26 has raised quite a few eyebrows with the level of tennis she had been playing over the last few months.

The key for Williams, really, was something of a new wrinkle: moving forward as much as possible. 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. Williams went to the net on 28 points, far more than she has been since come back to tour. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year and next year. "I'll still here, so in a way, I'm glad that I lost those three matches because I think my mentality would have been different coming into this tournament".

Osaka is at the beginning of what could be a marvelous career.

Osaka was born in Osaka, Japan, to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father.

Osaka also has coach Sascha Bajin, who had been with Serena for quite some time.

"Mom, I did it". "I love you (Serena)". A solid game plan should help her test the American great but it's easier said than done. Keys, the 2017 US Open runner-up, had nothing but praise for Osaka after the match.

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