Serena to play fan girl Osaka in US Open final


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Williams was not only strong on her serve as the match wore on but dominating at the net as well. Not only did the ensemble make Williams feel like a "superhero" but it was also created to help her avoid blood clots-a medical condition she experienced after giving birth to her daughter.

Williams will come up against Japan's 20-year-old superstar Naomi Osaka - the first Japanese woman to reach a grand slam final. She makes a complicated, hard shot look easy.

Stanley Kay: Serena's serve will be critical.

After yet another show of force at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams is one match away from reaching yet another milestone in an already incredible career.

Serena Williams was a bit shaky at the start of her U.S. Open semifinal. I had little faith in Williams' declining (prior to the event) return game and light scheduling, so to see her make the final is something of a surprise.

The American missed two more break points before the Japanese broke to love, then took her to deuce before Osaka held to win the opening set.

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She added: "I love you [Serena]". The Florida-based athlete moved with her parents to NY at the age of 3. And Serena will also have to build off the crowd in NY, which I expect to be buzzing and roaring with overwhelming support for the American on Saturday. When asked what she had gone through during the passage of play, the youngster said: "This is going to sound really bad but I was just thinking I really want to play Serena". To say the stars are aligned is an understatement.

Indeed, she gets Williams, who has lost only one set in the entire tournament (H/T to Kaia Kanepi).

JW: 1. Managing the moment. "She never gives up", writes Alexis on Instagram. Use that as an advantage, not an impediment. 2. She hits with as much pace and penetration as any player and can generate this easy power because her ball-striking is so clean. Lean on the staff.

The 28-year-old, who is ranked 18th in the world and hails from the same Latvian hometown, Liepaja, as the New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis, looked as though she might be able to keep Williams off rhythm with her diverse arsenal of weapons. Stay in this zone.

In fact, win or lose on Saturday, it feels as if this is a coronation of sorts for Osaka as tennis' next big thing. The bright lights of Ashe didn't seem to faze her against Madison Keys, and she'll need to approach Saturday like it's any other match.

Osaka saved all 13 break points she faced Thursday and defeated 2017 runner-up Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4. She is now headed to the U.S. Open for the 9 time. So, how did the match end in her dream? She was ready for this tournament.