Serena will be playing in her 31st Grand Slam final and ninth at the US Open where she is a six-time champion.
Williams, seeded 17th as she seeks to add to her 23 Grand Slam titles for the first time since the birth of her daughter Olympia on September 1 of past year, needed just 66 minutes to dispatch the 19th-seeded Latvian, who was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final. A win on Saturday for Williams would tie Margaret Court's Grand Slam wins record. She really loves Serena.
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Osaka, the 20th seed, has met and defeated Williams once - at Miami in March. Two and a half years later, Williams herself will be testing that herself while Osaka lives out a dream.
At the age of 20, Osaka became Japan's first female grand slam finalist in the Open era courtesy of a 6-2 6-4 victory over Keys, last year's runner-up. Her opponent is her idol: Serena Williams.
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He then rallied past Taylor Fritz 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-4 before beating 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson in straight sets 7-5 6-2 7-6. Next up for Nadal will be Juan Martin del Potro , who advanced to the semis via a four-set win over American John Isner .
"When you just come back and then you make the finals of two slams, I think that's really incredible", added Osaka in reference to Williams's runner-up spot at Wimbledon in July. At the same time I feel like even though I should enjoy this moment, I should still think of it as another match.
"I'm just going to go out there and play".
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Osaka was asked to send a message to Serena after defeating Madison Keys in straight sets on Thursday, and her message was pure as they come. Osaka's victory came in an unusual manner, as the Japanese player was frequently in hot water with her serve, but survived by going a ideal 13-for-13 in break points.