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Williams crushes Sevastova to reach US Open final

08 September 2018

If she was going to make the US Open final for the first time since 2014, she couldn't allow her mind to wander to her loss here in the 2015 semifinal against unseeded Roberta Vinci, when Williams was attempting to win the calendar-year Grand Slam. She awaits the outcome of Thursday's other semifinal, between Naomi Osaka of Japan and fellow American Madison Keys.

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.

"It's really hard to convey how big of a deal [winning No.24] is because the thing that rolls off the tongue for me is that she's trying to tie the all-time record set by Margaret Court".

That was the tipping point and Osaka wrapped up the win in one hour, 26 minutes with a service victor, breaking into a smile as the ball flew off the frame of Keys' racquet and into the crowd. "It was good that I played her because I kind of know how she plays now", Williams said.

"It's really incredible. A year ago I was fighting for my life at the hospital after I had the baby", Williams said.

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Osaka is quick around the net - but in her semi-final, Serena blasted baseline winners, served and volleyed her way to that 6-3, 6-0 win. Her father is Haitian and her mother is Japanese.

The American pulled out a few old tricks of her own to catch Sevastova off guard.

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"I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak", Osaka told reporters at USA Today. I had one more to go still. "From my name, they don't expect to see a black girl".

The Japanese player, shy and quirky off the court but a fierce fighter on it, defended magnificently, used the angles intelligently and, above all, reserved her best for the biggest moments.

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The pair have met just once before, with Osaka stunning Williams 6-3 6-2 at the Miami Open in March.

On Thursday, Osaka defeated American Madison Keys to reach the U.S. Open final.

She leads the tournament with 64 aces and has been broken just six times in six matches while Osaka has dropped her serve just four times.

"Just the fact that it's happening, I'm very happy about it".

The final will be played at 5:00 a.m. Japan time on Sunday and even if she fails to pull off a stunning victory, the Asahi newspaper believes Osaka's U.S. Open run could hail the beginning of a generational shift in women's tennis. In fact, Serena has bagled her opponents thrice in NY this year.

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This year, the U.S. Open has had us glued to our screens with stunning performances (and looks) by Serena Williams. "You think, okay, she's going to let up eventually, but she didn't, so all credit to her". Australia's Margaret Court now holds the record. "Of course, it feels a little bit surreal", Osaka said. While the King of Clay - Rafael Nadal - trails Federer with 17 Grand Slams and a total of 80 career titles.

Williams crushes Sevastova to reach US Open final