Serena Williams beat No. 8 ranked Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková on Tuesday (6-4, 6-3.) Williams then beat Latvian No. 20 ranked Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday (6-3, 6-0.)
Sevastova had to beat defending champion Sloane Stephens in order to play against Williams. Williams started off a little slow, but she powered through and won 11 of the last 12 games. She played close to the net and her powerful hits enabled her to dominate Sevastova. Williams utilized her famed precision and strength to play a truly amazing match.
This would be Williams’ 7th U.S. Open finals win and her 24th Grand Slam title. She will face No. 20 ranked Naomi Osaka on Saturday. Osaka had to beat the previous runner-up in order to get to the finals, American Madison Keys.
Osaka is the first woman from Japan to reach this level of competition at a Grand Slam final. Osaka is an aggressive player with a fast serve, but will her skills be good enough to top Serena? The last time the two faced off was back in March at the Miami Open, and Osaka won (6-3, 6-2.)
After her win against Keys, Osaka said this to an ESPNW reporter:
Naomi Osaka's message to Serena before they face each other in the US Open final?
"I love you." 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/B7m8FzJWjm
— espnW (@espnW) September 7, 2018
This is Osaka’s first Grand Slam final appearance. She is only 20 years old. Williams, on the other hand, is 36 years old. If Williams can pull off this win, she will be the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam.
The women’s U.S. Open final will be on Saturday, September 8th at 4 p.m. ET.
The games are heating up on the men’s side of things.
Spain’s No. 1 ranked defending champion, Rafael Nadal, will play Argentina’s No. 3 ranked Juan Martín del Potro first on Friday afternoon in the New York heat. Del Potro entered the big leagues of the tennis world when he won the U.S. Open in 2009, and he is looking for a second win in Flushing Meadows almost 10 years later. The two players last faced each other in July during Wimbledon. The match was very close, but Nadal ultimately prevailed.
No. 21 ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan is the lowest ranked player in the men’s finals. He is the clear underdog in this match. He is fighting for his chance to compete for his first Grand Slam title. Facing Nishikori is Big Four member, No. 6 ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic holds 13 Grand Slam titles.
Andy Murray lost early on during the second round of the tournament, and Roger Federer was upset by John Millman in the fourth round.
Nadal plays del Potro at 4 p.m. ET and Nishikori plays Djokovic at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners will face off in the finals on Sunday, September 9th at 4 p.m. ET.
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