Osaka claims US Open title after Serena meltdown

She awaits the outcome of Thursday's other semifinal, between Naomi Osaka of Japan and fellow American Madison Keys. But she has chosen to compete for the Japanese Tennis Association. "A year ago I was literally fighting for my life at the hospital after having the baby", said Williams, who missed last year's US Open because of the birth of her child, Olympia.

Serena Williams takes on Japan's Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final on Saturday, little over a year after almost dying giving birth to her daughter.

Williams was given a second violation, this one for smashing her racket, and again yelled at the chair umpire who had given her a first warning for coaching.

In what was a massively controversial match, Osaka's brilliance should not be overlooked as she won Japan's first Grand Slam title.

Naomi Osaka is about to go head-to-head with Serena Williams at the finals of the 2018 U.S. Open! Starting out with a confident hold of serve, Williams lost five straight games to start the match as Osaka settled in with strong serves and grounstrokes.

"I shouldn't think of her as my idol, just as an opponent".

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

It's often said you should never meet your heroes.

A victory for the 36-year-old would bring her overall record up to 24 Grand Slam singles titles, tying a feat first achieved by Margaret Court.

Osaka also has a strong attachment to Japanese culture, describing her visits to the country as like a "super-awesome extended vacation that I don't want to leave", according to media reports.

Osaka, who moved to the United States when she was three, has been a huge fan of Serena over the years but insists she will be not be overwhelmed by the occasion, on Saturday. She's moving better and her timing on the ball is fantastic.

Sevastova got off to the ideal start - using all the tricks in her locker to secure an early break - but she was quickly pegged back amid relentless pressure from the American. She has already made history of her own; she is the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam tennis final.

  • Stacy Allen